Beta Beta Beta Biology Honors Society Outreach

Dennis is Faculty coordinator for the local UNR chapter of Beta Beta Beta Biology Honors Society. We conduct a number of annual outreach events including reaching out to Primary and Middle School students through the TinyBetas Science Fair.

Pictures from TinyBetas Fair 2018

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K-12 Outreach at Local Reno High Schools

Dennis and his students in BIOL-475 (Neurobiology) conducted outreach at local Reno High schools in Spring 2016 and 2017. The main goal of this program is to educate as well as inspire K-12 students to pursue higher education in STEM fields. This outreach was developed in coordination with the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Washoe County School District.

Testimonials from High School Teachers

Kelly Coleman, Reed High School

Hi Dennis,

Your students were fantastic!  It was wonderful to have them in class today.  The only thing I would change is that I should have asked them to arrive 10- 15 minutes early because it takes time to get checked in at the office and walk back to my classroom in the far corner of the school.  When they arrived class had already started and I felt like I threw them right in without much time to prepare because I didn’t want them to run out of time.  It turned out to be just the right amount of time and they did a great job!

I would love to have your students back in future semesters.  We study the nervous system in the fall, but could have your students visit any time.

Please thank them all for visiting!  Thank you for making the arrangements and I look forward to next time!

Alicia Woo, Damonte Ranch High School

Hello Dennis,

The presentations were fantastic!  What I liked:

  1. The students knew their topic well.  They did not simply read from the slides, great presentation quality.
  2. The info was explained in a way that was understandable.
  3. The info presented was on a topic that the students had heard about and were interested in.
  4. The presentation went through each part of the scientific process.  It was great reinforcement of what I teach in class.

What I didn’t like:

  1. That all of my students did not have the opportunity to see this.  It was engaging and informative.

I think this presentation would be beneficial for my honors biology students as well.  I hope we are able to work something out for next year.  It is great for the students to be exposed to what science looks like beyond high school.  I don’t think it would be appropriate for the general biology classes unless the level was brought way down.

Thank you for sending your students.  I was extremely impressed at how they presented themselves as well as the information.

Kathleen Steninen, McQueen High School


Sorry it has taken so long to respond! AP psychology exams were on Monday. Whew! Glad that’s over. The kids loved your students. My freshmen were a little overwhelmed, but that was OK. I told them it will only be a few short years until they might be standing in my classroom giving a similar presentation. I used the opportunity to advertise for my AP psychology class and we also talked about neurons & genes. I am hoping to do the PFG/ bacterial lab with them next week and will use the presentation to springboard the PFG protein the UNR students showed in the neurons.

My seniors were even more excited to get out of high school and start doing things like your students presents.

I cannot think you enough and would be very willing to have our kids come talk next year.

Testimonials from Undergraduates who participated in K-12 Outreach

Anita Albanese: “It was great!!! The students were shy but it all worked out. Maybe a few slides about the program at UNR would be helpful to add for next year to show more than just our class”.

Elizabeth O’Neill: As for the experience, all the presentations went well and the students seemed very interested even though they were quiet. We had a little over 10 minutes at the end to take about our majors, our experience with neurobiology, and any advice we have for the students. Definitely a great experience!”

Pauline Alaribe: “It was a really awesome experience! The students were hesitant to ask questions but it turned out great. I think this something that should definitely be integrated into future Biol475 classes. I would also recommend adding slides talking about research opportunities at UNR and neuroscience in general”.

Pamela Galinta: “The visit went well! I enjoyed the experience. My neuroscience (Nevada Neuro Society) club also did something similar earlier this semester. We were promoting Nevada Brain Bee in different high school and basically talked about what Neuroscience was to students”.

Sabrina Sevilla: “It went great! I had so much fun. I’ll tell you all about it on Friday after class. I’m really glad I did this and would be so happy to do it again.”

Didra Reese: “The presentation was so exciting and I truly enjoyed it. The students were very intrigued and asked questions with so much detail. Sabrina and I wanted to do other classes right after we enjoyed the entire environment of being able to share our knowledge from your class with others. Thank you so much for this opportunity”.

Owen Knobbe: “Mrs. Woo was impressed with our presentation and even asked us for another day if we could come in and talk to another class she has.  Her class asked very impressive questions about our presentation.  Both presentations went very well.  It was a great opportunity for both me and Robert.  Thank you for setting this opportunity to present in front of high school students, I think both groups really helped students get inspired about college and science”.

Robert Jones: “So Mrs. Woo spoke to us after our presentation and she said she loved it.  It was only Owen and I there from group 8, but we were able to cover the entire article.  I went a little more in-depth on current events surrounding CTE/NFL.  The students actually asked great questions on some of the methods the researchers used, and they were really interested in our experiences as college students/Neuroscience classes. Overall I think it was an astounding success, and the group that went after us did great as well!  Mrs. Woo seemed to be really excited about both of our presentations”.