STEM Lab opens doors to science
by Amy Loeffler
The STEM Lab housed in Blacksburg High School is home to intriguing gadgets of the science trade.
It’s what the lab fosters, however, more than its equipment, that is the real value to Glenda Gillaspy, professor of biochemistry and principal investigator of a project that promotes educator-scientist partnerships and is funded by a College of Agriculture and Life Science’s Integrated Grant.
“Part of the initiative is to bring people to the scientific table that normally wouldn’t sit there,” said Gillaspy.
Several Virginia Tech faculty members including Hans Gindlesberger, assistant professor of visual communication, and Paul Siegel, professor emeritus of animal and poultry sciences, have collaborated with Blacksburg High School teachers Michael Collver and Michael Kaylor to engage students in the sciences.
“One of the first steps to increase inclusion is increasing accessibility,” said David Lally, a collaborator on the project. “The STEM Lab gives the public access to the scientific community.”
Gindlesberger works with photography students in the high school lab gathering images of cell structures. Meanwhile, Paul Siegel has paired up with a student to investigate human intervention on egg production.
The endeavor has already succeeded in bringing faculty members and the community together in scientific research.
“We brought Paul Siegel into the lab and it was like a passing of the torch,” said Lally.