Earlier this summer, graduate students of the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center engaged with more than 600 teachers as nearby as Marietta and as far away as Mississippi, who gathered for the annual STEMapalooza.
Held at Kennesaw Mountain High School, STEMapalooza is designed for educators to learn more about science, technology, engineering and math and, according to event organizers, how to design a STEM curriculum that is more interesting and centered around real world problem-learning.
UGA RBC graduate students Samantha Spellicy, Kelly Scheulin and Ty Scott Maughon were invited by the event’s coordinator, Sally Creel, after she heard about the RBC Poster Drive spearheaded by Spellicy.
“We loved the idea, to put these resources in the hands of educators conducting research at all levels,” said Creel, STEM & innovation supervisor for Cobb County Schools.
A typical conference poster is printed on 48- by 36-inch poster paper and is widely used at research symposiums for scientists to discuss and share their research. Most academic labs, hallways and closets are littered with past poster presentations.
Recognizing a need to recycle and give new life to research posters outside of trashing them, Spellicy suggested that the posters should be shared in hopes of inspiring secondary-school students to want to learn more about regenerative research, build interest in becoming a scientist and at the same time discover how research at the RBC is transforming health for the better of the community and society.
“The younger students are when they understand the significant impact of scientific research, the more likely they are to consider a similar pathway,” said Spellicy, a dual M.D./Ph.D. student working in the lab of Steven Stice, director of the RBC.
Earlier this year, Spellicy was selected in the international Three Minute Thesis Competition, as the People’s Choice Winner. She was also elected as the Policy Committee co-chair for the American Physician Scientist Association, and she was chosen as the 2019 delegate to the American Medical Association on behalf of APSA. Most recently, Spellicy received recognition as one of UGA’s “Amazing Students” and was awarded the NanoBio REU Excellence in Mentorship award.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to show off all of the terrific research projects that are happening right here in the RBC and hopefully will help us attract students to come to UGA for both education and careers in biomedical research,” said Spellicy.