E.A.G.R. Philadelphia

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Spring 2013 Semester Highlights


Philly Sunset by R. Graham

In the Fall of 2012 the EAGR Philly team was formed with two goals in mind:

1) To introduce Philadelphia’s High School students to advanced graduate research topics.

2) To provide a setting for graduate students to disseminate their research to K-12 audiences.

We are happy to report a successful Spring 2013 semester of collaborative EAGR workshops wherein 9th grade students and graduate researchers from the University of Pennsylvania came together to conduct hands-on biology experiments and technology workshops.

Three times this semester The Franklin Institute’s collaboration with the Science Leadership Academy, known as Wednesdays at the Franklin, was hosted by graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania.

We covered a great range of topics ranging from Plant Physiology to Computer Science, and were able to complete our goal of hosting three workshops in our second semester as an organization.

Our two hour workshops combine a short informative lecture by the hosting graduate student, followed by a 90 minute hands-on interactive workshop.

UPenn Biology PhD student Ruby Cortes led a lively plant physiology experiment that taught students how to make stomata impressions, and how to recognize differences between mutant stomata and wild type stomata. This workshop combined principles of genetics and plant physiology, and gave many of the 9th grade students their first look at an experimental mutant phenotype.


Upenn Engineering PhD student Morteza Hakimi led an introduction to computer science workshop, in which students from the SLA learned to write several simple programs in the Python programming language. After working through the basics of Python commands and fundamentals of communicating with a programming interpreter, Morteza asked students to write their own code, including “Hello World” and an english to piglatin translator. This simple program takes an alphabetic input like “Hello” and returns the pig latin translation of the input word “Ellohay”

Students learned the basics of the python programming language.
Students learned the basics of the python programming language.

This summer the EAGR team is meeting with faculty and administrators within The Franklin Institute, The Science Leadership Academy, and The University of Pennsylvania in efforts to expand the EAGR program to include more departments, more graduate students, and more workshops led by Philadelphia’s extraordinary population of graduate students.

Stay tuned for more exciting events from EAGR Philadelphia!


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