Community Outreach

Beckman Institute Open House — every April

Mirica group at the April 2024 Beckman Institute Open House, where we created an interactive demonstration for kids to show them how cool and important imaging techniques are, specifically for Alzheimer’s disease. This is geared for sharing UIUC research with the surrounding Champaign-Urbana community, while engaging kids with STEM.

Middle School Day Camp “Bonding with Chemistry” — every July

Mirica group members helping run the 2023 Middle school Science Day camp, which was started by the Women Chemists Committee (WCC) as a day camp for girls in 5th-8th grade to promote interest in science. Activities include ten stations where students form hypothesis and conduct engaging experiments across an arrange of chemistry topics. Additionally, volunteers run bigger science demonstrations as well as lead an ice-cream-making station using liquid nitrogen.

Parkland Community College Shadowing — every March

Our group members host STEM-majors from a local community college for a day through the Younger Chemists Community (YCC). The undergraduates shadow our group members in lab and get to run basic experiments and learn how to use cool laboratory techniques.

Elementary School Demo & Lab tours

Our group hosts local elementary students on campus for hands-on experiments, big demos, and a tour of our labs.

Elementary School STEM outreach — 3 times per year

Our group members participate in the St. Elmo Brady Academy (SEBA) program that provides project-based learning activities in science, technology, engineering, and math for local elementary and middle school students from historically underrepresented groups in STEM. The program is named after St. Elmo Brady, who was the first Black person to earn a PhD in chemistry and did so at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1916.

Middle School Science Demonstrations — 3 times per year

Our group members help plan, prepare, and run the triannual full day “Encouraging Tomorrow’s Chemists” (ETC) hands-on science demonstrations at local middle schools that discuss polymers, luminescence, and phases of matter at the Urbana Middle School. No photos allowed.

C^2 Mentorship Program — monthly

Mirica group members serve as mentors for undergraduates via the C² chemistry through community program that supports students from historically underrepresented groups in STEM (African American, LatinX, and Native American) and offers monthly networking and professional development events. Cstrives to to build a community of scholars in which diversity and excellence thrive.

Merit mentorship Program — monthly

Mirica group members serve as mentors for undergraduate students via the Merit Mentorship Program that supports members of groups typically underrepresented in STEM. The program also targets students from small high schools.