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Research Education and Activities for Community Teachers

The 2022 REACT workshop will take place on July 14 (virtual) and July 15 (in person).

The REACT (Research and Education Activities for Community Teachers) program connects K-12 educators to current research at Cornell University. Led by graduate students, this two-day workshop includes presentations on research and the path to higher education, lab tours, and demonstrations. The goal of REACT is to show teachers how cutting-edge research is performed today, equip them with activities that can help them bring that research back to the community and their students, and foster relationships between educators and graduate students. REACT was started at University of Michigan in 2017, and has grown tremendously since. Our team visited the University of Michigan workshop in 2019 and started a Cornell branch of the program in 2020 to bring REACT to educators in New York.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, both Cornell REACT 2020 and Cornell REACT 2021 took place virtually over Zoom.

Schedule – Cornell REACT 2022

Virtual day (July 14, 2022) @ Zoom:

9:30 AM – 9:35 AM: Welcoming Remarks

Plant Biology

9:35 AM – 10:15 AM: Classroom Activity/Talk: Caylyn Railey: Mutant Plant Mystery
10:15 AM – 10:55 AM: Classroom Activity/Talk: Aimee Schulz and Merritt Khaipho-Burch: Cabbages and their cousins: the dogs of the plant world
10:55 AM – 11:10 AM: Break


11:10 AM – 11:25 AM: Research talk: Sam Bright-Thonney: Searching for Invisible Matter with the World’s Largest Camera
11:25 AM – 11:55 AM: Classroom Activity: Rachael Cohn and Virginia McGhee: Fourier Transforms of Musical Notes
11:55 AM – 12:10 PM: Research Talk: Vaibhav Sharma: Studying atoms that are a billion times colder than outer space
12:10 PM – 12:30 PM: Panel: Graduate School “Ask Us Anything”
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM: Lunch

Animal Biology

1:30 PM – 2:00 PM: Classroom Activity: Agustín Olivo: Combining science, math and computer software tools to improve the environmental sustainability of dairy farming
2:00 PM – 2:15 PM: Research Talk: Vivek Thangavelu and Prof. Nils Napp: Bio-inspired Robotics
2:15 PM – 2:30 PM: Research Talk: Cleo Liu and Jacob Nixon: Gut microbiome and bone health
2:30 PM – 2:45 PM: Break


2:45 PM – 3:00 PM: Research Talk: Tom Ugras: Properties & Applications of Quantum Dots
3:00 PM – 3:20 PM: Lab Tour: Ahmed Alsmaeil (Giannelis Lab)
3:20 PM – 3:50 PM: Activity: Abby Nason: Using Density to Sort Recyclables
3:50 PM – 4:00 PM: Wrap-Up/Closing Remarks

In-Person Day (July 15th, 2022) @ Cornell University:

10:00 AM – 10:10 AM: Welcoming Remarks
10:10 AM – 10:40 AM: Classroom Activity: Nathan Scinto-Madonich: Feast or Famine: The dynamic nature of plant environmental responses
10:40 AM – 10:55 AM: Research Talk: Matt Barone: Crystal Discovery and Engineering
10:55 AM – 11:25 AM: Classroom Activity: Eric Hebert: Understanding Optical Polarization
11:25 AM – 11:55 AM: Classroom Activity: Merritt Khaipho-Burch and Aimee Schulz: Plant Domestication and Adaptation: A Seed Dispersal Game
11:55 AM – 12:55 PM: Lunch
12:55 PM – 2:25 PM: Facility tour: Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) or Cornell Nanoscale Science and Technology Facility (CNF)
2:25 PM – 2:55 PM: Classroom Activity: CHESS (Ben Gregory) or CNF (Tom Pennell)
2:55 PM – 3:25 PM: Lab Tour 1: Jena Shields (in vivo Fluid Dynamics Lab)/Jesse Hsu (Fors Lab)
3:25 PM – 3:55 PM: Lab Tour 2: Jesse Hsu (Fors Lab)/Jena Shields (in vivo Fluid Dynamics Lab)
3:55 PM – 4:15 PM: Wrap-Up/Closing Remarks and Group Photo

REACT 2022 Flyer

Organizing team – Cornell REACT 2022

Rachael Skye (MSE)
Maya Martirossyan (MSE)
Zoe Pollard (BEE)
Abigail Nason (MSE)
Bilal Azhar (MSE)
et al.

(MSE = Department of Materials Science and Engineering,
BEE = Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering)


Faculty Sponsors

Vice President for Research and Innovation, Professor Emmanuel Giannelis
Professor Jefferson Tester
Associate Professor Richard Robinson
Assistant Professor Brad Ramshaw
Assistant Professor Chao-Ming Jian
Professor Edward Buckler
Associate Professor Jin Suntivich
Assistant Professor Andrew Nelson
Assistant Professor Julia Dshemuchadse

Departmental Sponsors

Department of Materials Science and Engineering
School of Applied and Engineering Physics
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Department of Physics
Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
School of Integrative Plant Science

Partnering Organizations



Please get in touch if you would like to volunteer or to ask about attending this year’s event:

Research Education and Activities for Community Teachers (REACT): REACT is a free online science workshop for educators in New York. The event consists of research-focused talks, lab tours, and fun at-home experimental or computational activities in the topics of physics, chemistry, engineering, and materials science.

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