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STEM Outreach

About Us

The IWGDI outreach subcommittee is a trainee-led subgroup of IWGDI members that is working to increase department engagement with STEM outreach and teaching opportunities across Yale and in the broader New Haven community. The subcommittee meets monthly to centralize and share existing STEM outreach opportunities with the department, and to establish new initiatives by collaborating closely with community organizations, such as Yale's Pathways to Science. This past year, for example, subcommittee members developed and regularly taught an interactive seminar on the principles of immunology underlying vaccination to high school students. The subcommittee has also planned for the department's first Day of Immunology in Spring 2022, a new annual event for New Haven high schoolers that has interactive workshops and lab demonstrations about basic immunology concepts that is intended to inspire curiosity about the biomedical sciences.

Through these outreach, teaching, and mentoring opportunities, the outreach subcommittee members aim to increase awareness of and interest in immunology and biomedical research in students of all education levels (K-12, university and community college students, and beyond). Furthermore, the subcommittee hopes to reach out to students and members of underrepresented communities interested in pursuing scientific career paths and to support their retention in these fields.

Mission Statement

The IWGDI Outreach Subcommittee aims to increase the visibility of and accessibility to the study of Immunobiology by hosting volunteer opportunities that strengthen relationships between the members of our department and the greater New Haven community.

In order to accomplish this goal, we coordinate or lead various initiatives to increase access to educational materials on basic immunology principles for students of all levels and the general public. We also work to encourage URM students to consider STEM-related careers by expanding opportunities for research projects in Immunobiology labs.

IWGDI Outreach Subcommittee Initiatives

Interactive seminar on the Principles of Vaccination

  • A 1-2 hour seminar developed by Yale Immunobiology graduate students aimed at teaching high school students the basic concepts of immunology that underlie vaccines.
  • This course has been adapted to teach in person and on Zoom via multiple platforms including Yale Sprout, Yale Splash, Rainstorm, and the Yale Pathways to Science Summer Scholars Program.

Partnering to host and mentor high school students, undergraduate students, and community members who are interested in immunology research

  • Summer Science Research Institute (high school students)
  • Science, Technology and Research Scholars Program (undergraduates)
  • Yale Summer Enrichment Research Experience (Gateway Community College and Housatonic Community College students

Day of Immunology

Day of Immunology 2023 at Yale will be held at TAC on Saturday April 29th, 2023 from 9am - 3pm. Join us to hear from special guest speaker Dr. Grace Chen and participate in fun, interactive workshops and activities to learn all about your immune system and what it's like to be a biologist!


Come back each year to learn new subjects and play new games! This year’s event will include seven activities exploring different aspects of the immune system:

Invasion Room

Why do we get sick? What in our bodies helps us fight off infections like bacteria and viruses? Come work as a team to see if you have what it takes to escape the immune system in an escape room game!

Allergies: You’re Overreacting!

Have you ever wondered why some people react so poorly to things that should be harmless, like peanuts or pollen? Come learn about what allergies are, why so many people have them, and what your immune system is doing to cause an allergic reaction!

Microbiome: The World Inside Us

Ever wondered what’s dirtiest- your phone, door handle, or toilet seat?! Let’s explore how immune cells cooperate with bacteria living inside us.

Vaccines: Fighting Off Pandemics

Come explore how vaccines harness the power of the immune system to defend us from infectious diseases. Then, in an interactive game, test how vaccinations can stop a pandemic from spreading!

Cancer Immunology: Beating the Odds

Did you know that your immune cells are programmed to kill cancer cells? Come play an interactive board game to learn more about this process and cancer immunology!

Transplant: Find your Match!

What happens when one of your organs stops working? How do doctors try to fix it or replace it? Come learn about what doctors have to think about when we match people with new organs!

Tools for Tackling Vaccine Hesitancy presented by Frontline Immunity

Vaccine hesitancy is one of the world’s largest health threats. Come explore the factors influencing people’s perspectives on vaccines and practice strategies to address vaccine hesitancy in your community!

*This module builds off of Vaccines: Fighting Off Pandemics, which we strongly encourage you to participate in beforehand."

Interested in attending?

Don’t miss out! Register for this free event here. All local high school students in grades 9-12 are eligible.

Day of Immunology Planning Committee 2023

  • Co-Chairs: Sarah Ohashi & Sasha Tabachnikova
  • Educational Module Coordinators: Lotus Lum, Matthew Spencer, Sofia Velasquez & Lena Wirth
  • Funding Coordinators: Mackenzie Coden & Dan Ryan
  • Supplemental Activity & Volunteer Coordinators: Mackenzie Bender, Kelli Connolly, Lindsey Hughes, Carolina Lucas, & Tomomi Yoshida
  • Educational Module Instructors: Mackenzie Bender, Noah Biru, Hailey Brown, Isabela Brown- Soler, Mackenzie Coden, Lindsey Hughes, Chinye Ijeli, Adrianna Jones, Lotus Lum, Jacob Mathai, Dan Ryan, Emily Siniscalco, Matt Spencer, Andrew Takeda, Sofia Vieto, Mamie Wang, Lena Wirth, Kenneth Zhou
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Paula Kavathas

Sponsors & Partners

We would like to thank our partners for helping fund and guide this event.

  • The Yale Department of Immunobiology
  • Pathways to Science in The Office of New Haven Affairs
  • The American Association of Immunologists
  • Yale Graduate and Professional Student Senate
  • Yale’s Center for Engineering Innovation and Design

Teaching Opportunities

Pathways to Science Summer Scholars Program

  • Each summer Yale Pathways offers New Haven public school students the opportunity to participate in a free, on-campus summer STEM program designed to extend their learning beyond the walls of their high school.
  • Workshops run 90 minutes/day for 5 weekdays in July.
  • Age Range: Grades 9-12

Ulysses S. Grant Foundation Summer Program

  • Create and help run a six-week summer educational enrichment program for talented middle school students from the New Haven public school system and parochial schools.
  • Age Range: Grades 6-9 (middle school)

Yale Young Global Scholars (YYGS)

  • Paid summer teaching opportunity in which you develop and teach your own curriculum, gain valuable classroom experience with diverse high school students from around the world, and mentor students in a variety of different contexts.
  • Instructors can teach up to three 2-week summer sessions.
  • Age Range: Grades 9-12


  • Rainstorm is an online Splash collaboration held multiple times each year that allows you to teach a class on a topic of your choosing over Zoom to high school students from across the country. Classes can be flexible in format and can be 1 hour 15 minutes, or 2 hours 30 minutes.
  • Age Range: 9-12
  • Register or find out more here:

Outreach Opportunities

Pathways to Science

  • A coordinated, data-driven STEM outreach infrastructure within the Office of New Haven Affairs. Pathways to Science opens the door for middle and high school students to explore STEM at Yale, and supports Yale students & faculty in designing and implementing STEM outreach programming.
  • Major initiatives include the Pathways Summer Scholars Program, Yale Summer Science Research Institute, and many others
  • Age Range: Grades 6-12
  • Contact: Maria Parente— coordinator for community programs in science

Science Haven (Open Labs and Yale Student Science Diplomats)

  • “Science Haven is a group that works to bring engaging science activities to neighborhood events. Through partnering with community leaders it aims to bring science demonstrations to all the neighborhoods in New Haven, increase awareness of STEM careers and opportunities among children and make science fun!”
  • Age Range: all ages

Science Cafe (Open Labs)

  • “Open Labs hosts the Café, a series of outreach events, presentations and breakout sessions, featuring bite-sized talks on cutting-edge research.”
  • “Through the talks, we place the students in the shoes of a young professional scientist and help them discover how research is done, and why we choose to devote our lives to it.”
  • Age Range: Grades 9-12

Girls’ Science Investigations

  • Hosted through the Physics Department and held once a month on Saturdays from 8:30am-2pm.
  • Volunteers run hands-on demonstrations or experiments related to a particular physics principle, which you get training for beforehand.
  • Age range: Grades 6-8

Science on Saturdays

Family Science Nights

New Haven Reads Summer Science Experiments Club

Mentoring Opportunities

Stem Mentors at Yale

  • STEM Mentors organizes several events aimed at helping high school students to apply to and make decisions around college, and to learn about STEM careers through career fairs and science nights at local schools
  • Age Range: Grades 9-12

New Haven Science Fair

  • Held in May each year, the New Haven Science Fair brings together hundreds of students, teachers, and local scientists to help produce investigative science projects.
  • Mentors help guide students through the scientific method and commit to working together with a teacher/classroom (PreK-4) or advising individual students or teams of students (Grades 5-12) for an average of 1 hour per week over a period of 2-3 months.
  • Age Range: PreK-4 or Grades 5-12
  • Sign up to be a mentor here:

YBDIC PATHS Mentorship Program

  • Graduate students mentor prospective underrepresented Ph.D. applicants before and after the recruitment weekends of applicants in their tracks.
  • Short-term and long-term mentorship opportunities are available.
  • Age Range: undergraduate students

WISAY mentoring program

  • WISAY's ​​mentoring program exists on three levels: graduate students mentoring undergraduates, post-docs mentoring graduate students, and post-docs being mentored (in small groups) by faculty members. Graduate students and post-docs can participate in multiple programs if they so wish.
  • Age Range: undergraduate student, graduate student or postdoctoral fellow

Community Research Fellows

  • The YCC Center for Community Engagement and Health Equity (CEHE) in partnership with the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE) offers Yale Cancer Center (YCC) research teams the opportunity to host a pair of residents from low-income New Haven neighborhoods to contribute their expertise and community perspective and to learn about cancer research at Yale.
  • Age Range: adults
  • For more info and application materials, contact Erin Singleton:

The Science, Technology and Research Scholars (STARS) Program

  • A mentoring program designed to support women, minority, economically underprivileged, and other historically underrepresented students in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics.
  • The STARS I Program provides seminars, networking, mentorship, and professional development tailored for first-year undergraduates.
  • The STARS Summer Research Program combines individual on-campus research with academic support and course credit.
  • The STARS II Program supports individual student research beginning in the fall semester of the junior year, through the following summer, and both semesters of the senior year.
  • Age Range: undergraduate students

Yale Summer Science Research Institute

Letters to a Pre-Scientist

  • Pen-pal program between middle school students and scientists (both students who are excited about STEM and those not yet interested).
  • Commitment involves an asynchronous online training session and writing letters 4 times over the course of the academic year.
  • Age range: middle school students

Science Communication Opportunities

Yale Student Science Diplomats

  • YSSD works to foster a scientifically informed electorate through several science communication, advocacy, and policy initiatives. Current sub-committees focus on advocacy related to Science Funding; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in STEM; Environmental Justice; Preserving Science in Policy Making; and Vaccine Communication.
  • Age Range: all ages

Flipped Science Fair (Open Labs)

Exploring Science (Open Labs)

  • “Join us virtually every Tuesday at 6pm EST for a discussion with scientists at Yale about topics they love! Each session is different and involves either a science battle, a Q&A about science careers or science talks. Log on to learn about our scientists’ pathway to science and their field of interest.”
  • Age Range: Grades 6-10

Yale Science Communication

  • Organizes multiple public lecture series focusing on communicating topical scientific issues to the broader public, including Science in the News and Science@Brewery
  • Age Range: all ages (general public)

Científico Latino

  • Científico Latino aims to improve diversity in STEM by providing resources to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students by providing mentorship programs, open-access materials for fellowships, and blog posts related to being a professional in the STEM fields
  • Age Range: undergraduate, graduate, and professional students

Skype a Scientist

  • Connects researchers across STEM with K-12 teachers and other youth group leaders globally who are looking to have a scientist present and answer questions from their students about what it is like being a scientist. When you are matched with a teacher/classroom, you will coordinate a time that works for you to connect virtually.
  • Age Range: Grades K-12