My lab mates and I had a fantastic time hosting a workshop for I <3 STEM. This program brings middle school girls onto college campuses and gets them excited about possible careers in different fields in STEM, with an emphasis on all the amazing things women CAN do (math, coding, etc.).
We ran a workshop on bioluminescence and signaling, challenging our students to "be ostracods" and come up with a unique signal for just them and their partner. Then we turned out the lights and tried to find each other, with mixed and often hilarious results! Then we introduced some of the biochemistry behind bioluminescence, crushing dried ostracods to show them the beauty of biological light production firsthand.
It's always rewarding to share science in a way that can inspire, and I loved discussing what our typical days look like at work. I hope they left feeling excited about what they might pursue in the future.