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2022-23 Virtual Science Club

Read below for updates on upcoming Virtual Science Club sessions and recordings/archives of past sessions. If you have questions contact prep@utk.edu.

What is the VSC?

It is a club that meets twice per month. It provides free programming to assist students and teachers in the development of STEM skills and to motivate students to enter the upcoming Southern Appalachian Science & Engineering Fair (SASEF) which will be held in-person on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus on March 2023.

Who is eligible to attend VSC sessions?

The club is available to grade 6-12 students, grade 6-12 teachers, and other sponsors of STEM programs (e.g., 4-H leaders) in the 23-county East Tennessee SASEF region. Students and teachers from Central and West Tennessee are also welcome.


Upcoming Club Schedule

Time: 7:00 – 8:00pm EST
**Registered attendees will receive a Zoom link by email on the day of the event.
Session Description:
Learn more about:
  • The Virtual Science Club
  • The Southern Appalachian Science & Engineering Fair
  • How to structure a STEM project
  • Go into breakout rooms by research area to meet your UTK graduate student mentor that will be hosting sessions monthly through January. The four research areas to choose from are:
  1. Human Sciences
    • Behavioral & Social Sciences
    • Medicine & Health Sciences
  2. Natural Sciences
    • Animal Sciences
    • Biochemistry
    • Cellular & Molecular Biology
    • Environmental Sciences
    • Microbiology
    • Plant Sciences
  3. Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Earth & Planetary Science
    • Environmental Management
    • Physics & Astronomy
  4. Engineering & Math
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering: Electrical & Mechanical
    • Engineering: Materials & Bioengineering
    • Energy & Transportation
    • Mathematical Sciences

Time: 7:00 – 8:00pm EST
**Registered attendees will receive a Zoom link by email on the day of the event.
Session Description: Coming Soon!

Time: 7:00 – 8:00pm EST
**Registered attendees will receive a Zoom link by email on the day of the event.
Session Description: Go into breakout rooms by research area to discuss your plans for your 2022 SASEF STEM project. Bring any and all questions you may have! The four research areas to choose from are:
  1. Human Sciences
    • Behavioral & Social Sciences
    • Medicine & Health Sciences
  2. Natural Sciences
    • Animal Sciences
    • Biochemistry
    • Cellular & Molecular Biology
    • Environmental Sciences
    • Microbiology
    • Plant Sciences
  3. Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Earth & Planetary Science
    • Environmental Management
    • Physics & Astronomy
  4. Engineering & Math
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering: Electrical & Mechanical
    • Engineering: Materials & Bioengineering
    • Energy & Transportation
    • Mathematical Sciences

Time: 7:00 – 8:00pm EST

Registration Link:  https://govols.utk.edu/register/Oct25

**Registered attendees will receive a Zoom link by email on the day of the event.

Session Description: Coming Soon!

Time: 7:00 – 8:00pm EST
**Registered attendees will receive a Zoom link by email on the day of the event.
Session Description: Go into breakout rooms by research area to discuss your plans for your 2022 SASEF STEM project. Bring any and all questions you may have! The four research areas to choose from are:
  1. Human Sciences
    • Behavioral & Social Sciences
    • Medicine & Health Sciences
  2. Natural Sciences
    • Animal Sciences
    • Biochemistry
    • Cellular & Molecular Biology
    • Environmental Sciences
    • Microbiology
    • Plant Sciences
  3. Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Earth & Planetary Science
    • Environmental Management
    • Physics & Astronomy
  4. Engineering & Math
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering: Electrical & Mechanical
    • Engineering: Materials & Bioengineering
    • Energy & Transportation
    • Mathematical Sciences

Time: 7:00 – 8:00pm EST

Registration Link: https://govols.utk.edu/register/Nov22

**Registered attendees will receive a Zoom link by email on the day of the event.

Session Description: Coming Soon!

Time: 7:00 – 8:00pm EST
Session Description: Go into breakout rooms by research area to discuss your plans for your 2022 SASEF STEM project. Bring any and all questions you may have! The four research areas to choose from are:
  1. Human Sciences
    • Behavioral & Social Sciences
    • Medicine & Health Sciences
  2. Natural Sciences
    • Animal Sciences
    • Biochemistry
    • Cellular & Molecular Biology
    • Environmental Sciences
    • Microbiology
    • Plant Sciences
  3. Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Earth & Planetary Science
    • Environmental Management
    • Physics & Astronomy
  4. Engineering & Math
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering: Electrical & Mechanical
    • Engineering: Materials & Bioengineering
    • Energy & Transportation
    • Mathematical Sciences

Time: 7:00 – 8:00pm EST

**Registered attendees will receive a Zoom link by email on the day of the event.

Session Description: Coming Soon!

Time: 7:00 – 8:00pm EST
**Registered attendees will receive a Zoom link by email on the day of the event.
Session Description: Go into breakout rooms by research area to discuss your plans for your 2022 SASEF STEM project. Bring any and all questions you may have! The four research areas to choose from are:
  1. Human Sciences
    • Behavioral & Social Sciences
    • Medicine & Health Sciences
  2. Natural Sciences
    • Animal Sciences
    • Biochemistry
    • Cellular & Molecular Biology
    • Environmental Sciences
    • Microbiology
    • Plant Sciences
  3. Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Earth & Planetary Science
    • Environmental Management
    • Physics & Astronomy
  4. Engineering & Math
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering: Electrical & Mechanical
    • Engineering: Materials & Bioengineering
    • Energy & Transportation
    • Mathematical Sciences

Time: 7:00 – 8:00pm EST
**Registered attendees will receive a Zoom link by email on the day of the event.
Session Description: Coming Soon!

Time: 7:00 – 8:00pm EST

**Registered attendees will receive a Zoom link by email on the day of the event.

Session Description: No formal presentation or session. Stop by any time for 5 minutes or for the full hour, or anywhere in between! We will be on Zoom to answer any and all questions you may have about the Southern Appalachian Science & Engineering Fair (SASEF). Students are welcome to come by and ask about their project or abstract, their poster, their optional video, etc. Teachers are welcome to stop by to check in on their students’ registrations, ask questions about event day in March, etc. If you can’t make office hours contact us any time at prep@utk.edu or call 865-974-9493.

Time: 7:00 – 8:00pm EST

**Registered attendees will receive a Zoom link by email on the day of the event.

Session Description: No formal presentation or session. Stop by any time for 5 minutes or for the full hour, or anywhere in between! We will be on Zoom to answer any and all questions you may have about the Southern Appalachian Science & Engineering Fair (SASEF). Students are welcome to come by and ask about their project or abstract, their poster, their optional video, etc. Teachers are welcome to stop by to check in on their students’ registrations, ask questions about event day in March, etc. If you can’t make office hours contact us any time at prep@utk.edu or call 865-974-9493.

 


SASEF Categories – What breakout session to attend?

One meeting per month will feature smaller “breakout” sessions separated into the following four research areas. Each research area’s breakout room will have mentors including a UT graduate student, at least one science and engineering professional, and at least one SASEF board member. These mentors will assist students with questions about STEM activities particularly focusing on those activities that will support a SASEF project.

  1. Human Sciences
    • Behavioral & Social Sciences
    • Medicine & Health Sciences
  2. Natural Sciences
    • Animal Sciences
    • Biochemistry
    • Cellular & Molecular Biology
    • Environmental Sciences
    • Microbiology
    • Plant Sciences
  3. Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Earth & Planetary Science
    • Environmental Management
    • Physics & Astronomy
  4. Engineering & Math
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering: Electrical & Mechanical
    • Engineering: Materials & Bioengineering
    • Energy & Transportation
    • Mathematical Sciences

Meet The Research Area Mentors

Sandra Peña, Human Sciences Mentor

Sandra Peña works full time in public health as an infectious disease epidemiologist, while also being a part-time MS student at UTK studying Entomology. Sandra plans on blending her current work interests with her growing knowledge in entomology with hopes to become a vectorborne epidemiologist. Sandra enjoys mentoring early career professionals, spending time in the lab, and studying emerging diseases.

Aaron Onufrak, Natural Sciences Mentor

Aaron is a 3rd year PhD student in the Entomology and Plant Pathology department at the University of Tennessee. He studies the fungi and bacteria that associate with eastern black walnut, a tree that is highly valued for its lumber. He is currently working to identify methods to control the fungal pathogen that causes Thousand Cankers Disease, which kills eastern black walnut trees throughout the United States.  His long term career goal is to be an instructor at a college or university sharing my passion for biology with undergraduate students.

Agustin Kriscautzky, Physical Sciences Mentor

Agustin earned his BS in geology in Argentina and his MS and PhD in geology in Knoxville, Tennessee. He studies ancient marine rocks from various places around the world, older than a billion years! He works on understanding the geochemistry of the ancient oceans and how these rocks have recorded information that may help us unwrapping the Earth’s history and evolution through geologic time. His future goals are to become a professor and a researcher and, if possible, to be a field geologist traveling around the world, finding information hidden in rocks. He is passionate about Natural Sciences.

Emily Proehl, Engineering & Math Mentor

Emily is a 3rd year graduate student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Her research focuses on structural materials for nuclear reactors, which must withstand extreme environments – high temperature, corrosive fluids, and intense radiation. The overarching objective is to make nuclear reactors more cost-competitive and safer to help power the globe. Emily’s career goals are to further nuclear materials development and the understanding of radiation effects in materials, while paying forward the invaluable mentorship she received throughout her educational pursuits.