The Plata Lab believes that the best, most creative science happens when diverse minds can approach a problem from different backgrounds. Further, science can inform policy only when the public understands scientific content generated by government, academic, and industry labs. In order to enhance scientific literacy across demographic boundaries, and to foster a love of science and the environment in all people, the Plata Lab engages in several outreach activities. A few of these are highlighted.

Mystic Aquarium Women in Science

Megan O’Connor (5th year, Ph.D. Candidate) participated in an outreach event at the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT. With over 4,000 people in attendance at the aquarium, the event featured women in science and impact of environmental research! The event was organized in coordination with the Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering at Yale.

Pathways Summer Scholars High School Program

Osman Karatum (3rd year Ph.D. Candidate) participated as an instructor for Yale’s Pathways to Science Program. He delivered an interactive lecture to high school students focused on observing and understanding hydrophilicity and hydrophobicity in materials. Osman also demonstrated why the adsorbent properties of aerogels make them effective materials for oil spill cleanup.

Portland Beer Week Adult Outreach

The Plata Lab traveled to Portland Maine to participate in Portland’s Beer Week. We designed a hands-on enrichment activity to engage adult learners in the science of beer, with a particular focus on the changes in water quality and chemistry that occur during the homebrew process.