We were thrilled to launch "Sci-Café TKS" this month. This first Sci-Café at the school was run and supported by the same team that leads the campus Sci-Café. Ours was held at the GSS Library and had a similar format, with three KAUST Ph.D. students sitting on the panel. The theme was "Marine Pollution and Plastic" and each panelist spoke about their work around this theme. Cecilia Martin spoke about monitoring the abundance of microplastics and their interaction with ecosystems. She was even able to demonstrate how she uses her drone to assist in her observations. Walter Rich spoke about the various stressors on marine organisms and the impact that they make on them. Ananya Ashok explained how she uses analytical methods to trace oil pollution and study the effects of pollutants on marine life.
It was a well-attended event, and our TKS students came out buzzing from hearing these young researchers talk about their work in such a dynamic way. The panelists told us that they were impressed by the attentiveness and the quality of the questions coming from our TKS students.
We in the Science department believe that we have an exceptional opportunity to build a bridge across the educational gap between high school and university in a way that is unique to our location. This is the first of what we anticipate to be an ongoing partnership with researchers on campus and the group from the Vice President for Research. We hope that parents will encourage their children to be a part of this pioneering initiative and to relish the stimulating scientific research that is being done on our doorstep. For more photos, please see the TKS Sharks Facebook Page!
Yours, Emma Nason (Team Lead for Science) and Francois De Ryckel (Team Lead for Math), Carmen Denman and Carolyn Unck (Office of the Vice President for Research)
Photo credits: Reece Lennon