Community Engagement

Here are some ongoing and past initiatives with science communication and communication!

For a list of recent invited talks related to science communication and community engagement, click here.

Click here to learn more about our Community Engagement Research activities

ColorMePhD ( is a free all-ages coloring book series for students, educators, scientists, and members of the community to engage with current PhD level research in science and engineering. Explore our free coloring pages to learn about real research projects by fabulous scientists and engineers! 

Each coloring page of ColorMePhD Volume 1 contains original art developed by PhD student researchers, and is accompanied by a description of the PhD work, summarizing recent scientific publications in words for a general audience.

ColorMePhD Vol. 1: A Coloring Book of Science and Engineering Research

ColorMePhD Volume 1 features 16 colorable illustrations and descriptions explaining PhD-level research performed by chemists and chemical engineers at UC Berkekey.

ColorMePhD Vol. 2: A Coloring Book of Research by Women in Science and Engineering

ColorMePhD Volume 2 Features over 20 original coloring pages describing PhD-level research performed and directed by female-identifying scientists and engineers across the US and UK.

ColorMePhD "History-Making Scientists:" Free Coloring Pages Highlighting Contributions of BIPOC Scientists throughout History

The ColorMePhD History-Making Scientist Series is a collection of over 20 coloring pages that highlight Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and People of Color who have made incredible contributions to Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medicine.

To learn more about the vision and mission of ColorMePhD, watch this virtual video presentation about the initiative from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers 2020 Annual Meeting:

PI's Past Events and Community Engagement

Community Resources for Science (CRS) Bay Area Scientists Inspiring Students (BASIS)

While I was a graduate student at UC Berkeley, I served as a volunteer science teacher through the Bay Area Scientists Inspiring Students (BASIS) Program, which sends diverse groups of graduate students, postdocs, and local scientists to local elementary school classrooms to inspire the next generation of scientists through free science lessons. Through BASIS, I visited over 25 second and third grade classrooms, personally reaching over 600 students throughout the Bay Area to teach hands-on science lessons about the phases of matter with a lesson called "It's Just a Phase."
Our lessons included activities such as liquid nitrogen ice cream, dry ice sublimation, and isopropanol evaporation. I also led a team in developing a new lesson about density, with activities including rainbow sucrose density gradients and elephant's toothpaste, called "Making Sense of What's Dense."

Serving up some liquid nitrogen ice cream while teaching about phase changes between solids and liquids!

Engaging with 3rd grade students through hands-on activities and (non-graded) interactive quizzes.

Demonstrating to students how dry ice sublimates into carbon dioxide.

Showing how isopropanol evaporates faster with help from thermal energy from our hands.

Example quiz question from the lesson "Making Sense of What's Dense."

Describing our research to elementary students! (It's harder than you'd think!)

Expanding Your Horizons at UC Berkeley

The Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) Program at UC Berkeley is an annual conference that provides 400-500 middle school girls with hands-on experience in science and engineering through a day of workshops led by women. Many of these girls will be the first in their family to go to college, and face barriers including navigating financial aid and scholarships. My role with EYH was to organize a concurrent conference for the parents with panels on financial aid, STEM activities, and college preparation. After serving as a committee member from 2015-2016, I served as chair of the parent conference for two additional years, overseeing a team of women working to find panelists, gather materials, and fund the event. Our efforts during the course of my leadership resulted in a 60% increase in attendance, and we received positive feedback from parents who came home with quality resources to help prepare to send their daughters to college.

Community Resources for Science (CRS) Dinner with a Scientist (DWAS) and More!

Here are just a few other events I have participated in and organized to introduce children to science and engineering!

CRS Dinner with a Scientist

For three years running, I participated in the Community Resources for Science (CRS) Dinner with a Scientist event, where local 4th and 5th graders and their teachers are invited to the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, CA for an evening with a three-course dinner of food and science activities. I led activities about density with edible sucrose density gradients and lessons about acids and bases with pH-sensitive goldenrod paper and red cabbage juice, a natural pH indicator!

Engineering Detectives Day

During my time as President of the Arizona State University Student Chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), I co-organized the "Engineering Detectives Day" in collaboration with the "Science Detectives" club to invite over 80 students from local schools to campus for a day of science activities and demonstrations.

Science and Art

I value the intersection of science and art as a method of providing effective science communication to both scientific and non-scientific audiences. In addition to my efforts with visual science communication through ColorMePhD and through workshops with the MIT communication lab, I have been involved in a number of other initiatives and projects that utilize art to communicate and appreciate science.

Journal covers that I created for my research and others using a combination of digital and hand-drawn elements:

Cover Feature in ChemSusChem featuring our work on alcohol etherification.

Front cover of ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering featuring our work in depolymerization and upcycling of polypropylene and mixed polyolefins.

Front cover of Organometallics featuring a collaborator's work in asymmetric synthesis enabled by organometallic complexes.

Front cover of Macromolecules featuring a colleague's work in ion transport in polymeric systems.