USF Sarasota-Manatee students, instructors to hold workshop for teens

Priscilla Sosa

Priscilla Sosa

SARASOTA, Fla. (Aug. 11, 2015) – USF Sarasota-Manatee senior Priscilla Sosa is taking community engagement to a new level.

On Thursday morning, the 22-year-old biology student and Sarasota resident will bring a group of teens from the Sarasota YMCA Achievers Program to the USFSM Teaching Labs at Mote Marine for a workshop.

Dr. Edie Banner, who operates the teaching labs, planned the half-day workshop along with biology students Tori Overmyer and Edgar Bischoff, president of the USFSM Chemistry Club.

“The students will start with an activity outside,” Dr. Banner said. “They’ll collect water samples from Sarasota Bay and examine them under a microscope to identify microorganisms that live in our bay. The teens will also explore some chemical reactions that give surprising results.”

Dr. Banner agreed to participate in the workshop as a way to expose area youth to hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) experiences. The teens range from 8th to 12th grade.

Biology faculty Dr. Christelle Bouchard and Dr. Carlos Santamaria will also help facilitate the activities, along with students from the Biology and Chemistry Clubs.

“I’m super excited about it. I’ve never done an event like this before,” said Sosa, president of USFSM’s Biology Club. “Hopefully we can do this every year.”

Sosa came up with the idea a few weeks ago as a way to encourage the teens’ education. She then approached Dr. Banner, who readily agreed to help.