Student Testimonials: 2019-2020

Veronica Behrens

 Grad student, Developmental Biology

 David Kingsley Lab

Brita Christenson

Master's Student, Genetics Counseling 

Master's Program in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling


I loved the Stanford at the Tech experience.

I learned a lot about communication, especially with kids of different ages, and had so much fun leading hands on activities. Every time I told someone about the work I got to do at the Tech, they were interested and impressed, and I even brought a few family members by the museum so they could see what it's all about! I'm so glad I had this opportunity to get out of my normal grad school routines and have fun.


Rebecca Culver

Grad student, Genetics

KC Huang Lab

Research Interest: Bacteria in the Gut Microbiome

Scientific communication and outreach are an integral part to my identity as a scientist. More  During my time at the Tech, I participated in a wide variety of outreach opportunities, including leading genetics-themed hands-on activities to visitors, teaching high schoolers at Overfelt High School about genetics, and writing for the blog “Ask a Geneticist”. Through these experiences, I honed my ability to communicate science to a broad audience in a digestible format.



Nicole DelRosso

Grad student, Biophysics

Polly Fordyce Lab and Lacra Bintu Lab

Research Interest: High throughput biophysical screens of transcription factors



Once a week, you will lead genetics activities in the Biodesign Lab at the Tech Interactive Museum in San Jose, CA.  More Some of these activities are classics, that have been in the rotation for years, and others are a lot newer, with ample opportunities for you to make them more interactive, hands-on, and curiosity-based experiences. Here, you’ll teach diverse audiences, spanning a class of second graders to a science curious group of adults. Quickly and flexibly moving between such different audiences is a skill you will learn in the program! This opportunity gives you the very unique perspective of what it’s like doing outreach in a non-academic, museum setting. It truly stretched my science communication skills, and taught me how to get young kids excited about learning and doing science.



Natalie Deuitch

Master's Student, Genetic Counseling

Master's Program in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling



As a genetic counselor the Tech has challenged me to think about different ways of communicating science to participants from a wide age and educational range. 



Kelsey Fryer    

Grad student, Genetics

Aaron Straight Lab              

Research Interest: Underlying sequence contribution to centromere function


Growing up, my Mom made a point to take my brother and I to science museums or after school science activities. She is not a scientist, but she made sure we knew that we could be. Science outreach is the reason that I am a scientist today. I signed up for Stanford at the Tech because I wanted to help give students the exposure and encouragement to pursue their interests. What I  More 



Olivia de Goede

Grad student, Genetics

Karla Kirkegaard Lab & Stephen Montgomery

Research Interest: Long non-coding RNAs in the immune system

I loved my time at The Tech!  It was such a blast chatting with museum guests, guiding them through the activities, and seeing how excited they got as they figured things out. Watching   More the kids have so much fun reminded me how cool science is, and the experience renewed my excitement about my own research. Being at The Tech also really helped my communication skills: I'm way more comfortable with public speaking, I learned about science writing for the general public, and I got lots of hands-on practice tailoring my message to my audience. I can’t recommend this program enough!  


Laura Hayward  

Master's Student, Genetics Counseling 

Master's Program in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling


Alex Kern

Grad student, Genetics

Hunter Fraser Lab

Research Interest: Evolutionary genomics in yeast


Stanford at the Tech was a great opportunity to step out of the academic setting and engage with people on a completely different level about science. While it was challenging, it was incredibly rewarding to learn how to engage with children and parents in a way that allowed everyone to feel comfortable and come away knowing something new. More importantly, being able to impart excitement and curiosity about science to the children was an amazing feeling, and always made me more excited to get back into lab.




Robin Meyers

Grad student, Genetics

Paul Khavari Lab

Research Interest: Genome regulation in cellular differentiation and cancer

Tiffany Nguyen

Master's Student, Genetics Counseling

Master's Program in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling


Vy Nguyen             

Grad student, Developmental Biology

Seung Kim Lab

Research Interest: Regulation of pancreatic function and diabetes

Learning to communicate science in a way that's understandable and engaging to all museum goers is challenging but super rewarding.




Being involved with S@TT allowed for a great opportunity to teach the next generation of scientists and inspire people to get excited about science!  More I learned a lot about how to tailor my genetics knowledge to a broader, and sometimes much younger, audience, which really helped me develop my counseling skills further as a genetic counselor in training.


Guillaume Riesen

Grad student, Neurosciences

Justin Gardner Lab

Research Interest: Binocular visual perception in humans

I had an incredible experience going behind the curtain at The Tech. Talking and exploring with visitors was a breath of fresh air each week. I loved being able to make my own contributions to the programming and connect with museum facilitators. The program was very flexible and allowed me to explore my interests in educational design and museum management in addition to the facilitation and writing components. I received amazing support in pursuing my ideas and lots of constructive feedback to help me iterate and improve on them. I can't think of a better opportunity to challenge your communication skills and gain insight into how museum spaces are designed, built and maintained.



Stanford at The Tech was a good experience! I loved learning how to communicate  More with kids and leading hands on activities for them. I also learned so much from the kids! I believe that being able to communicate science in a simple way to a broad audience is an important skill for a genetic counselor, and The Tech definitely gave me the opportunity to practice that.



Maria Viteri

Grad student,  Biology 

Elizabeth Hadly Lab

Research Interest: Paleoecology of small mammals

Participating in Stanford at the Tech is a great way to improve your science communication skills. Even though the primary audience is children in school groups, visitors range in age from infant to grandparent and in background from complete novice to retired professor. This means that even once you get comfortable with one type of audience, you still might have to entirely rework your teaching style to match whoever walks through the door next. I can't think of a better way to hone your ability to communicate STEM to broad audiences.



Alexa Wnorowski

Grad student, Bioengineering

Joseph Wu Lab

Research Interest: Cellular models of cardiovascular disease

Kei Yamaya

Grad student, Developmental Biology

Anne Villeneuve Lab

Research Interest: Meiotic chromosomes in C. elegans

I wanted to participate in this program because I wanted to get practice explaining science to younger students.

Stanford at the Tech was my first hands-on experience teaching, and I felt that my two quarters there were very well set up to support and challenge me to connect with the museum visitors and with the subject material. Not only did I learn to engage with visitors, I also got to experience how fun it can be to communicate excitement and curiosity about genetics. I think the informal setting of the activities make this a unique opportunity to learn about science education.

Allison Zhang

Post doctoral fellow, Genetics

Mike Snyder Lab

Research Interest: Exposome: how environmental exposures affect your health

Stanford at the Tech was a memorable and rewarding experience. 


Spending one morning a week at the Tech was a great way to shake up my routine. Not only did I get to spend time off campus (and out of a library), but I got to meet our next generation of scientists. It was incredibly rewarding to help plant seeds of curiosity in their young minds. My favorite moments were when I could see the kids get excited, or I could see something "click" for them. I also enjoyed working with the other museum volunteers. The Tech has a great crew of helpers, whom I will miss just as much as the science experiments.