Changing Lives One Experiment at a Time: An Inside Look at LEAD Club

With the Spring semester starting up, I thought it was necessary to interview a club that I believe everyone should join here at FSU and that is LEAD. I dove in a little deeper talking to the club’s president, Marissa Miller, and club member, Georgi Taylor, to find out what this club is all about!

Her Campus (HC): What does the acronym LEAD stand for?

Marissa Miller (MM): Life, Enrichment and Discovery.

HC: Alright, so tell me a little bit about LEAD. What is it all about?

MM: LEAD is all about working with local children and helping instill a love for science in them. We encourage hands-on activities and demonstrations in a variety of subjects. We want to show them that a future career in a STEM field is possible and help them find their interests.

GT: I feel that LEAD is about college students being able to connect with young children. These children are in an environment that doesn’t always encourage them to continue their education and continue in school. So, we try to take the time to visit these kids and show them how fun science can be. In turn, we hope that this encourages them to ask questions about the world and inspires them to reach higher.

Courtesy: Lexi Moreira

HC: What school do you work with and why do you specifically work with them?

MM: Smith Williams Service Center. This is an afterschool program that allows us to interact with children from the surrounding neighborhood.

HC: What kinds of experiments do you guys perform?

MM: We perform experiments from several branches of science: chemistry, physics, anatomy, biology, etc. We like to have a diverse collection of experiments, so the children are able to see what they like and don't like.

GT: Literally everything. We teach them a lot about concepts that are everywhere in the world. For example, we teach them the properties of water, we go over the steps to an experiment and we learn a lot about density and viscosity. We teach them about a lot of different and exciting concepts.

HC: What should the child take away from the experiment?

MM: We emphasize the process of an experiment: procedure, materials, hypothesis, conclusion, and encourage them to create alternate scenarios to expand on the experiments. This prepares them for future classes they might take and encourages creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

GT: A lot of times I hope that the kids take away one new thing they are excited to tell their parents about when they get home. Also, I hope they come back to the next meeting excited to learn more about science or that when they go home, they look at YouTube videos and learn more about the science concept.

HC: How have you seen the club’s work impacting the kids?

MM: Some of the children will come up to me and say they want to work in a science field and they tell me all types of inventions and ideas they have. I love being able to spark that interest in science and help them find their potential and what they’re capable of.

GT: They get really excited when we come back. They recognize us and we recognize them. They like to see what experiment we are doing and will oftentimes ask to help set up or take down the experiment. They are also very eager to raise their hands and talk about different concepts we have talked about. Oh! And they always want to touch things!

HC: How would you say LEAD is different than other educational clubs?

MM: LEAD is educational and science-based. We have a variety of members from all different majors. This means we are able to get different perspectives and methods at our events. We want to instill a love for science, but also be able to impact the children on a greater level than that.

HC: How has LEAD impacted you?

MM: This is my third year being involved with LEAD. I look forward to seeing the children and hearing what they have to say about our experiments. LEAD has helped me practice teaching effectively. Just like the kids learn to use creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking, I believe the exec members also have to practice these skills when designing and performing our lesson plans for events.

GT: It makes me realize the things I have. That the education I was exposed to when I was younger is very different than theirs. It has inspired me to want to help the kids reach their full potential.

HC: How can you become involved in LEAD?

MM: We meet twice a month on Fridays from 3:15-4:30. This is a great opportunity to get service hours and a great way to get involved if you are in the educational or science fields, or you just love working with children! We pick all the experiments and write everything down for you so all you have to do is follow the lesson plan and be fun! If interested, you can email us at [email protected]. Our first event for the semester will be Feb. 7th!

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