HudsonAlpha is once again partnering with Sci-Quest to put education in the hands of Madison County students, thanks to a grant from Venturi Brighter Day Employee Fund. The $6,500 grant will be used to purchase microscopes for several mobile labs.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with this grant from Venturi,” said Madelene Loftin, an education specialist with the educational outreach team. “The microscope is the quintessential tool of biology and many young students equate using a scope to 'doing science'.”
The educational outreach team will train Sci-Quest staff to support lab experiments and will travel with the mobile units to perform science experiments inside schools. These microscopes are specifically outfitted to allow teachers and instructors to understand what students are seeing, as a means to better explain the science.
The microscopes will do more than travel as they will be housed inside the Sci-Quest Hands-On Science Center. In the summer months, the microscopes will be used by middle school students participating in HudsonAlpha camps, as well as with the GTAC academy for Alabama life science teachers.
“These equipment will allow educators at both HudsonAlpha and Sci-Quest to engage students ranging from early elementary grades through high school in the study of the microscopic world,” Loftin said.
The partnership between Sci-Quest and HudsonAlpha serves more than 30 Title I elementary and high schools in the greater Madison County area. It’s estimated that each microscope will be in the hands of 100 children each year.
Dr. Guy Caldwell, Ph.D. and Dr. Kim Caldwell, Ph.D., Molecular Biologists, Assistant Professors, Department of Biological Sciences
“I never set out to be a professor and researcher; I sort of stumbled into that job. However, I always wanted to know more about nature because I loved animals, rocks, planets, stars, fish, etc. So, in school I took a lot of science courses and along the way I just kept narrowing my focus as I found out what areas of science I liked.” —Dr. Kim Caldwell
“Fall in love with biology, chemistry, math and computer classes early. I use my degree every day. Biology–specimens/cell division; chemistry-mixing and usage of reagents in our protocols; math–measuring DNA; computers–capturing and karyotyping chromosomes.”
“I choose this career because I really enjoy the fast pace changes of science and genetics and I like to help people. I wanted a career that would allow me to be in healthcare but I was not interested in being a physician or nurse or working in a research laboratory setting.”
“I travel independently throughout the community to inspect food processing plants, hotels, restaurants, day care and nursing home food service facilities, jails, schools, night clubs and even body art facilities. Every day I am out meeting new people and seeing different things.”
“As a medical epidemiologist working at a state health department, I have investigated acute disease outbreaks; reviewed and analyzed data from reported, notifiable disease cases; and planned and implemented intervention measures to reduce the occurrence of preventable communicable diseases.”
“Computational biology is an exciting interdisciplinary field of research that integrates concepts from statistics, mathematics, computer science, and physics to solve problems in biology and biomedical research.”
“As a biochemical geneticist, my work specifically focuses on the diagnosis of inherited metabolic disorders, which typically afflict infants and young children, and often cause severe, even life threatening symptoms.”
“Did I choose the career or did the career choose me? That is an interesting question. I have always been interested in science, and grew up on a farm. So the marriage of science and agriculture was a natural for me.”