Medical Professional Publications

Community Outreach by The Research Institute’s Trainee Association

(From the May 2017 issue of Research Now)

The Research Institute’s Trainee Association (RITA) was created in 2013 to better train and prepare trainees at all stages of their career for their “next steps.” RITA events are open to all trainees at The Research Institute, including graduate students, postdoctoral scientists and fellows. The organization is similar to other postdoctoral associations at universities and is modeled after guidelines established by the National Postdoctoral Association (of which The Research Institute is a member).

In addition to developing resources for trainees and providing networking and professional development opportunities, RITA is involved in community outreach efforts to educate students about science. These include performing hands-on science activities with students at Hilliard Horizon Elementary as a part of the Meet-A-Scientist Program of The Ohio State University chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society.

At the weekly after-school program at Hilliard Horizon Elementary School, trainee volunteers work with 5th grade students on modules ranging from engineering to immunology. Past activities have involved extracting DNA from a strawberry and teaching students how DNA gets packaged into histones, as well as building towers using spaghetti, masking tape and marshmallows and making a simple electric motor.

Photos from Hilliard Horizon Elementary After-School Program

As a result of their success with the students in January and February, RITA was recently asked to develop 7 additional modules for the after-school program in March and April. Also in March, RITA performed hands-on science activities with elementary students of all grades and their families at Science Night at Hilliard Horizon Elementary. This included a “5 senses” booth that had activities related to touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight.

Photos from Science Night at Hilliard Horizon Elementary

In addition, RITA volunteers recently served as judges for undergraduate research posters at the Denman Forum on March 29 and will be serving as judges for high school science fair projects at State Science Day in May.

For more information on RITA’s volunteer efforts, please contact Kelly Crowe, RITA’s outreach officer.

myChildren’s mobile app

iPhone and Android.

Download Today! »

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000