Learning happens beyond the walls of our schools, and thanks to great partnerships, our scholars have access to the best and the brightest of our community. Because of their enthusiasm for science and recommendations from their teachers, eight young scientists from Habans were invited to participate in an amazing, one-week program at Tulane University called LightLab. This is the second cohort from Habans to attend. The program immersed our scholars in the scientific method, allowing them to experience all aspects of the discipline. “We learned so much from the experience,” said Kaylie, a 7th grader at Habans. According to Matthew Escarra, an assistant professor at Tulane who is a founder of LightLab and a program administrator, “The goal is to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in science by showing students early in their academic careers the excitement of hands-on discovery.
Our students worked side-by-side with graduate students and contributed to cutting-edge research projects. Following all of the tenets of great science, the scholars gathered data, documented their findings, and ultimately gave presentations on their discoveries, completing the circle of the scientific method. Finally, scholars presented their findings to a group of invited guests including representatives from Habans and Crescent City Schools. “The students are anxious to participate in the real research that we are doing, especially the hands-on aspects.They learn that working in a research lab is actually exciting, especially when their hard work pays off and leads us to new results and discoveries,”shared John Robertson from LightLab. Habans participant Willo, shared “It was amazing! I appreciated being part of the decision making process throughout the day.”
All of the participants completed the experience with a greater appreciation for the sciences and many solidified their desire to pursue careers in those disciplines.