Looking for a way to inspire the next generation of scientists? WISDOM is excited to share a fun opportunity to do just that!
WISDOM stands for Women in Science, Development, Outreach and Mentorship. It is a student-run organization established for the purposes of providing support, professional networking, and mentorship opportunities for all graduate students with a focus on the inclusion of female students.
Letters to a Pre-Scientist connects middle and high school students from low-income communities with a STEM pen pal. Their mission is to “humanize STEM professionals, demystify STEM career pathways, and inspire curiosity about a future in STEM.”
Throughout the school year, students and their matched STEM professional will exchange four letters discussing pre-determined topics ranging from a basic explanation of your STEM career to obstacles you have overcome to become a scientist.
Below are a couple of statements from the website written by young scientists in the program:
A sixth grader from Illinois wrote, “I used to think it isn’t common for a girl to become a scientist, but now I know anyone can become a scientist if you put your heart into it.”
A fifth grader from California stated, “I used to think science was all chemicals, but now I know science is nature, computers, the human body, and engineering, and more.”
Registration for the 2020-2021 school year is now open, however, space is limited! The faster you register, the better. Upon registration you will need to provide a mailing address to receive handwritten letters from your pen pal. Please use your university email address and your university’s address:
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
Mail Code: (your department)
San Antonio, TX 78229
To learn more and register to become a pen pal, visit the Letters to a Pre-Scientist website.
WISDOM is excited to promote this great organization and help inspire future leaders! WISDOM is a student-run organization at UT Health San Antonio that strives to provide professional development and networking opportunities, as well as support for students and postdocs facing issues specific to women in science. We also aim to engage the community through outreach to empower young women and girls to pursue their interests in science.
If you are interested in learning more about WISDOM, follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@wisdom_uthsa) and mark your calendars for our next general meeting via Zoom on Aug. 26 at 1:30 p.m.! To become a member of WISDOM, email WISDOM@livemail.uthscsa.edu .
About The Author
Hannah Elam is the historian of WISDOM. She received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Texas in 2012 with the hopes of pursuing a career in the mental health field. She began a master’s program in Mental Health Counseling at Denver Seminary in Littleton, Colorado but quickly realized she was more interested in the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders than the behavioral therapy used to treat them. This ultimately led her to leave the master’s program and, instead, pursue a Ph.D. in Integrated Biomedical Sciences (Neurosciencediscipline). She is now in her second year of the program, working in the lab of Dr. Dan Lodge studying the mechanisms that mediate psychiatric disorders, specifically schizophrenia.