Yesterday we had our first symposium for our HHMI students. We're just finishing up the second year of a four year undergraduate research grant funded by the HHMI, and this was something we'd said we'd do. The first year, we were just getting geared up and so it didn't happen. But it went reasonably yesterday.
There were ten students who gave presentations, with a couple of double acts. Some were students who'd already been in the program, and some were just starting. My student, Veronica, gave hers in the afternoon and was fine. Even though her moron supervisor (me) gave her a mislabelled slide. For the record, I know that morula stage comes before gastrula, not after. I can make fun of myself now because luckily, if anyone caught it, they were too polite to mention the gaffe during the talk.
I also found out a few other things that I'd not been completely aware of. Like, that we have a dedicated webpage about our HHMI program. Also found out about some of the stuff going on in our core lab facility, and toured our big mobile lab bus for the first time. The bus is a working molecular biology lab on wheels, which goes out to schools to show kids things like DNA technology. They've already had something like 5,000 kids go through it since it started earlier this year.
We also brought back three previous seminar speakers to provide evaluations of the program. And they took that role very seriously during the day, before they went out drinking -- I mean, to dinner -- with us that night.