Welcome to the NC DNA Day Ambassador page!
Being an NC DNA Day Ambassador gives you the chance to share your love of science with the next generation! DNA Day Ambassadors visit a high school classroom in North Carolina and present one of four exciting and interactive modules that were developed by UNC Chapel Hill graduate students and postdocs. These modules are reviewed by educators and high school students to ensure you will be delivering an effective and exciting scientific educational module. You will also have an opportunity to tell high school students about your own research interests and highlight the many exciting career opportunities available in scientific research!
In addition to inspiring the next generation of scientists, this experience will provide you with an opportunity to interact with high school students and gain valuable teaching and science education outreach experience.
REQUIREMENTS FOR DNA DAY AMBASSADORS
- You must be available to visit a school in North Carolina on (or around) Tuesday, April 25th, 2017. This visit will likely take most of one day when factoring in travel and teaching time. You will be matched with an NC high school science teacher and will work with them to plan the specific time/date of your visit based on your and their availability. NOTE: While most scientists visit their classroom on DNA Day, you can plan your visit on a different day that works with your schedule and that of your match teacher.
- You must arrange your own transportation to your assigned school. The vast majority of schools will require a car to visit. If you don’t have a car, please recruit a friend or colleague who can provide transportation to co-present with you! You will receive one gas card per group to offset your travel costs.
- You must arrange the details of your visit with your match teacher. By April 1, you will receive your school match and the contact information for your match teacher. It will be your responsibility to get in contact with your match teacher to plan the details of your visit. When you receive your match, we’ll provide a sheet with helpful questions to ask when planning your visit.
- You are expected to familiarize yourself with your assigned module in advance so you will be ready to give an exciting and professional presentation to the high school students. All modules come with a ready-made PowerPoint presentation, materials for hands-on activities, and a presenter guide with slide-by-slide presentation tips.
All ambassadors will receive an NC DNA Day module packet. Your module packet will include:
- One gas card to reimburse your travel costs
- Student work sheets (all the copies you will need)
- Any materials or props needed for your module
- Survey forms for teachers, students and yourself
- A guide with useful tips for planning your visit and maximizing your experience as an ambassador!
You are welcome (and encouraged) to recruit a partner. We strongly recommend that you meet with your teaching partner ahead of time and agree how you will coordinate the presentation.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON DNA DAY
- Introduction (Who you are, what you study, what DNA Day is, and general background info on your module topic)
- PowerPoint Presentation and discussion of module
- Hands-on engaging activity
- Interactive discussion of ethical, legal, and social issues
- Informal interaction with the students about your career and research
- Have the students and teachers fill out an evaluation form after your presentation
- Complete an online volunteer evaluation form
Questions? Send us an email!
Quotes from past NC DNA Day Ambassadors
Our genetics are going to play an important role in the future on many different levels, including health care. It is crucial for students to have an understanding of what the human genome is and the ethical implications of its use beyond just the biology of DNA. I am very excited to share some “real life” applications of biology with students and hopefully inspire a new appreciation for science in the process.
Elizabeth Sweger, UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate Student
Many students think of scientists as old men in lab coats. Hopefully, we’ll abolish their stereotypes and leave them thinking that science is really cool and inspiring. My hope is that our program will motivate a whole new generation of scientists.
Jessica Harell, UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate Student
I think DNA Day is a wonderful opportunity to not only discuss aspects and implications of the genome project, but also to demystify the image of a scientist. We can show these students that we are not crazy people walking around with wild hair with beakers containing colored bubbling liquid that is about to explode, but that we are people who truly want to make a difference to help society, and hopefully, encourage some of them to join the cause. I am honored to be a part of DNA Day.
Michael Johnson, UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate Student