About Virtual Scientist

Mission Statement:

We developed Virtual Scientist so that we could bring science outreach to your homes during this pandemic and continue to illustrate the importance of science in our community. We hope that this will be a fun platform for you as parents or teachers to engage with your children in fun science demos that also helps them to learn about the science that is all around us!

What is it?

Virtual Scientist is a series of webinars that brings fun and easily accessible science demos straight to your home via Zoom (please refer to our “How to Use Zoom Webinars and FAQs” page if you are unfamiliar with this format). We chose to use a webinar format so that we can interact with the audience and answer your questions live through a Q&A function.

What is the goal?

Our goal is to explain the science behind our demos instead of just showing a fun, but perhaps flashy video, that might skimp on the scientific explanation. We encourage you to try the demos with us and see what problems you encounter. We want to help you overcome those challenges so that you not only feel comfortable doing the demos with your children, but you also feel comfortable explaining the science behind the demonstrations.

How do the webinars work?

We know how busy you are as parents and teachers, so we are making our webinars short and sweet by keeping them at 30 minutes or less. We will post the procedure for the demos one week ahead of time so that if you like, you have time to gather materials or try it on your own. Then you can choose to do the demo with us as we’re doing it or you can choose to do it on your own time, whatever works best for you!

What happens if we cannot attend a webinar?

Don’t worry! We will be posting recorded videos of our webinars to our website so that if you cannot attend them live, you can refer to the video at your leisure. If you have additional questions that were not answered during the webinar, please feel free to email us (virtualscientistpsu@gmail.com) or leave us a message on the “Contact Virtual Scientist” page.

Meet the Team

Sonic Cheon

Sonic is a 4th year graduate student working in Dr. Zarzar’s lab.  When he is not working in lab trying to make droplets move, he enjoys practicing saxophone and annoying his roommates with dulcet tones. He loves mint chocolate chip ice cream because it feels like you are eating ice cream and brushing your teeth!

Kayla Gentile

Kayla is a 5th year graduate student working in Dr. Sen’s lab. She works on making really small objects move using things already found in the body. When she is not in the lab, she enjoys baking, camping and being outside!

Kara Pytko

Kara is a 2nd year graduate student working in Dr. Hedglin’s lab. She is interested in the errors that occur during DNA replication, which lead to genome mutations, and in turn, cancer. You can often find her hiking around State College, drinking a ton of coffee, or watching the Office for the millionth time.

Haley Young

Haley is a 1st year graduate student working in Dr. Schaak’s and Dr. Gomez’ labs. She does nanochemistry to make new materials. Outside of the lab she enjoys gardening, reading and playing ultimate frisbee!