Outreach in Wilbur

I had the opportunity yesterday to give three class presentations at the junior high and high school I attended in my hometown of Wilbur, Washington.  I spoke with a wide range of students, from the 7th grade science class to the high school chemistry class.  All of the students were very interested in what I experienced in the Kolyma region of Siberia as well as all of the science conducted on the Polaris Project.

Giving these presentations was very fulfilling for a couple of reasons.  First, it showed the students the opportunities that science can offer them.  I certainly never believed that I would spend a month 19 time zones away in northeastern Siberia when I sat in the same chemistry class five years ago.  Second, I feel that my presentations left these students with a greater awareness of the changes occurring in the Arctic and the uncertainty regarding the ramifications of these changes.   Hence, I believe the students gained a better understanding of the importance of science and a renewed interest in pursuing science as a career.

I also enjoyed giving these presentations since the school in Wilbur is very small, with Kindergarten through 12th grade all under one roof.   As a result, all of the teachers and many of the students know me, which further opened up discussion about the Polaris Project and science.

Tyler Llewellyn, Western Washington University ’09