Making connections and a sense of belonging to the university community enhances student learning. As a first generation college student and a veteran, I understand how important such connections can be.
Outreach before students enter the university can be instrumental in acquiring skills to be successful in college. Laboratories can be a fun and instructive means for outreach and teaching. The cockroach leg preparation lends itself to student learning from middle school through graduate education. I will discuss the modular design of this preparation.
Presenting data to an audience is intimidating, especially for non-traditional students. Recently we developed laboratories where students record action potentials from neurons in leech ganglia. In these laboratories we instituted a low stake, fail-safe exercise called the DataBlitz (DB). DB exercises are brief presentations by students on their data and are designed to help students communicate better. I will discuss some preliminary data on the efficacy of the DB.