Super Science-y Challenge

Dear Students,

Early in October each year, the world spends a few days stepping back and celebrating big discoveries in science. Have you noticed? This is when Nobel Prizes get announced, the MacArthur Foundation gives out its famous “genius” awards, and buzz swirls about the ways science changes the world. This week’s excitement — about discoveries related to viruses, black holes and an amazing new gene-editing technology — offer good reminders that all of us at UT get opportunities for up-close experiences with discovery.

So I offer you this Super Science-y Challenge: Find at least one way this semester to engage with the excitement of STEM that has nothing to do with a grade or a class. Doing so will provide some fuel for your tank when it starts to run low. And it’s a good reminder of how the university experience goes beyond the hard work you do in class.Here are some ways to embrace this challenge:

  1. Try a Science Sprint or Inventors Sprint. Take a day out to try something all new in STEM alongside fellow students and some amazing faculty and community partners. Check out the offerings and sign up now for these “sprints” this fall.
  2. Hear from a scientist. Many of our UT faculty and researchers are giving online talks on a range of useful and interesting topics, and these events are great opportunities to learn something new and ask questions in real time. Examples are in the announcements below.
  3. Read about or listen to a podcast that covers a science discovery exciting to you. (Here’s an example of a round-up of some great UT-related science on the College’s podcast Point of Discovery.)
  4. Join a student organization or social media group where the focus is on a STEM topic interesting to you. See the CNS Student Life web page for ideas.

Delving into new areas of science, chatting with really smart people and taking joy in learning probably helped get you into the College of Natural Sciences. So make sure those things stay a part of your UT experience. You’ll feel super science-y along the way.


Dr. Vanden Bout

Joke: I had a statistics joke to tell, but I was afraid the average person would think it’s mean.

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