Web Chat Stimulates Student Interest in Cells, Research Careers

Joe Gindhart, Sirisha Kumpatla, Judith Greenberg, Jen Villani, Ward Smith, John Laffan, Shari Tutt and Brian Pike (pictured left to right) were among many NIGMS staff members who participated in Cell Day. Courtesy of Peter Rice.Last Friday, we hosted Cell Day–an extremely exciting online interactive chat about the cell. During the event, many members of our scientific staff, including our Acting Director, Judith Greenberg, fielded more than 140 questions from mostly 5th through 12th grade students and teachers across the country.

We anticipated some of the questions we’d be asked, but many surprised and impressed us. Some questions got us thinking about how we know what we know and let us share why we became scientists. Here are a few examples:

  • Do my cells think?
  • Which living organism has the most cells?
  • Why have plants not evolved to be black in color in order to maximize light absorption?
  • What inspired you to take an interest in biology and its beautiful diversity?

Read the transcript to view more questions and our answers.

While Cell Day was developed as an NIGMS 50th anniversary activity, we enjoyed it so much that we plan to do it again next year as part of our continued commitment to science education.

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