As a graduate of Texas A&M University and Environmental Scientist at Whitehead E. S., giving back to my community is a privilege that I strive to accomplish on a regular basis. Recently, I had the opportunity to volunteer as a judge for the Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair (DRSEF) in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division.
I remember (in the not too distant past) attending many graduate student research competitions. I especially remember how fulfilling it was to present my research and gain feedback from my peers and mentors. When I heard about DRSEF, I was thrilled to help provide these kids with the same kind of positive experience. My responsibilities as a judge were to assess the scientific methodology, reasoning, and analysis of the projects, as well as interview the student participants to determine their comprehension and involvement.
Although there was a wide range of student effort and investigation, it was exciting to see so much scientific curiosity and interest. I enjoyed hearing the reasoning behind each student’s scientific method and I made an effort to provide positive feedback for future exploration. I even learned some new things along the way!
Overall, volunteering as a judge was a great experience, and I hope I was able to encourage the students’ interest and love for science, much like all my previous teachers and mentors did for me. Serving the future environmental scientists at the DRSEF was a great opportunity to live our Whitehead E. S. core values of giving back to our community.