Mississippi EPSCoR values diversity and believes that the best way to create a diverse workforce in the field of optoelectronics is by getting kids involved in the science from an early age. Over 160 girl scouts visited the Chemical Engineer labs at MSU to listen to a presentation entitled “Exploring the Molecular World!” and then participating in hands on activities and demonstrations. This fieldtrip was led by CEMOs researchers Santanu Kundu and Neeraj Rai as well as CEMOs funded graduate students.
This event brought many young women into CEMOs labs and allowed them to interact with STEM researchers including female graduate students. It also provided an important perspective for the girl scouts – that they could also be serious STEM researcher! Our goal is to continue to provide these opportunities for K-12 students so that women and underrepresented minorities actively join the STEM pipeline.