Meet the Scientists…

I’m a Scientist USA 2016 kicks off on April 25th with the Helium Zone and the Soil Zone. For two weeks, ten scientists will be answering students’ questions and taking part in live chats, while they compete for the prize of $500 to spend on their own project in schools.

Helium Zone logoBetween April 25 and May 6 school students from 13 different states will put the scientists through their paces in fast-paced live chats and probing questions on everything from how we think, to how plants grow, to why do we feel pain, to how do you get electricity from soil?

Soil Zone logoWe’re delighted to receive funding from the Agronomic Science Foundation to run the Soil zone and we encourage you to take a look at the resources available on the Soils 4 Teachers and Soils 4 kidz websites.

As always it has been really difficult choosing our competitors. We really hope all the other scientists who applied will be able to take part in future events.

So lets’ introduce the scientists taking part…

In the Helium Zone we have:

Melissa Wilson Sayers

Melissa Wilson Sayres

“I use computers to study the biology of sex differences and now, Gila monsters!”



 Jonathan JacksonJonathan Jackson

“I study what the brain looks like when you’re thinking hard and remembering things.”



Stephanie MoonStephanie Moon

“I’m a molecular biologist trying to figure out how viruses carried by mosquitoes make us sick.”




  Kellie JaremkoKellie Jaremko

“I study pain and pain medicines in patients; sometimes I work with rats & their brains as tools to learn more.”




Kevin BakerKevin Baker

“I study how scabs form.”





In the Soil Zone we have:

Ana Paez GarciaAna Páez Garcia

“Plants have no legs, so they cannot go to the supermarket and grab the food they want; for this, they have the roots. I study how the roots grow through the soil to reach the water and the food they need.”


 Mark RitchieMark Ritchie

“I study how animals that eat plants, mice to elephants, help make healthy soils.”



Alex_Taylor (2)Alexander Taylor

“I study how plants gained the ability to partner with microscopic creatures in the soil.”



Clay RobinsonClay Robinson

“I work to understand, and help others understand, how soil, as the foundation for all life, integrates physics, chemistry, biology, ecology, and other sciences.”


Keegan CookeKeegan Cooke

“I make electricity from mud, using bacteria!”




Over the next couple of weeks the scientists will be filling in their profile pages with more details and teachers will soon be receiving the information packs so they can start preparing their classes.

For the latest news and updates on the event, head over to our website, or follow @ImascientistUS on Twitter.

I’m a Scientist USA is delivered by Keep on Questioning and supported by Gallomanor Communications. Keep on Questioning is a project of the Center for Transformative Action (CTA). The Center for Transformative Action is an independent 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization affiliated with Cornell University.

Agronomic Science Foundation logo

The 2016 Soil zone is funded by the Agronomic Science Foundation Gateway fund. The Gateway Fund fosters innovative approaches to inspire young students and guide them to a career in agronomy, crop or soil sciences. Gateway funding enables novel methods to identify, inspire, and recruit high school, undergraduate and graduate students to develop an interest in agronomy, crop or soil sciences. The Agronomic Science Foundation (ASF) also supports young people through the Gateway Scholars Program. This program is designed to introduce high school students to the multitude of scientific disciplines in which members of ASA, CSSA, and SSSA are engaged in by inviting students and teachers from local high schools to attend the Annual Meeting and interact directly with scientists who are changing the world through research to meet challenges in global agriculture, food production, alternative energy, and the environment. This project allows ASA, CSSA, and SSSA to give something back to the community hosting the Annual Meeting and will help identify potential talent that the agricultural and environmental sciences need to thrive in the challenging times ahead. Students and educators should submit a proposal to participate in Gateway Scholars.

Posted on April 13, 2016 by modjosh in News. Comments Off on Meet the Scientists…