An important part of our mission as a laboratory is to connect with and give back to the communities that support our efforts and to increase interest and participation in the sciences, especially where barriers have existed.
In collaboration with several other research groups in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Oregon, the Prell group takes part in Mad Duck Science Fridays, a program that brings hand-on science to local middle school and high school students and seeks to create long-lasting, sustainable mentoring relationships between students and educators across many levels of education. Supported by our NSF CAREER grant, the Prell also develops additional hands-on laboratory demonstrations for Mad Ducks. So far, we have contributed modules related to the use of mass spectrometry in studying disease-causing biomolecular complexes (“Pandemic”) and on the chemistry of smell (“What Smells?!”). Prell group member Amber Rolland led Mad Duck Science Fridays from 2018-2019 in partnership with graduate student Jess Fehrs. Jim Prell continues to teach a workshop course for undergraduates across STEM disciplines, sponsored by his NSF CAREER grant, which focuses on oral and visual communication of the students’ research, development of outreach modules, and preparation, peer-critique, and submission of student-written abstracts to extramural STEM conferences.
We also provide support for the University of Oregon chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). Visit the SACNAS at UO website for details on meetings, outreach activities, guest speakers and discussion topics, and the Annual Conference.