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BOSTON, MA — On May 4, the Museum of Science announced that Christina McGahan of Mount Holyoke College and Ghiska Ramahdita of McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis were selected as the Judges’ Pick and Audience Choice winners, respectively, at the finals of the 2021 Reach Out Science Slams. With support from the National Science Foundation, six finalists presented original, three-minute stories on fundamental research across different science fields in front of a virtual audience and an esteemed panel of judges.
“For the Reach Out Science Communication Challenge, we invited researchers from across the nation to share their work through engaging and creative virtual presentations geared toward a family audience,” said Meg Rosenburg, research communication associate at the Museum of Science. “After three rounds of semifinals, our six finalists put the science storytelling skills they’ve been honing to the test to connect with our audience and judges.”
The Reach Out Science Slams featured six finalists: Megan Chong, PhD student at UC San Francisco, Joelyn de Lima, a recent PhD graduate from Michigan State University, Sabrina Elkassas, PhD student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Ghiska Ramahdita, PhD candidate at McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, Christina McGahan, postdoctoral fellow at Mount Holyoke College, and Benjamin Pingault, postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.
Finalists were evaluated by judges Raven Baxter, an award-winning and internationally acclaimed science communicator and molecular biologist, Emily Calandrelli, Emmy nominated television host and science communicator, Jorge Cham, PhD in Robotics at Stanford University and creator of “PHD Comics,” and Melissa Cristina Márquez, shark scientist and science communicator.
The Reach Out Science Slams are part of the Reach Out Science Communcation Challenge, a nationwide effort to boost the communication skills of students and early-career researchers affiliated with the National Science Foundation’s 12 flagship Science and Technology Centers (STCs). These Centers tackle the frontiers of science and technology, foster discovery and innovation, and train next-generation scientists and engineers.