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Graduate Peers' Schedules

Winter 2016
Peer Advisor Availability

Writing Peer
Kyle Crocco

Mon: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Tue: 10 a.m.-noon
Wed: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thu: 10 a.m.-noon

Funding Peer
Stephanie Griffin
Mon: 10 a.m.-noon
Wed: noon-2 p.m.

Diversity Peer
Ana Romero

Mon: noon-2 p.m.
Wed: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

The peers sometimes hold events or attend meetings during their regular office hours. To assure you connect with your Graduate Peer Advisor, we encourage you to contact them by email and make an appointment.



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Entries in k-12 (4)


Physics Circus Brings Science to Schools

Physics Circus demonstrationsPhysics Circus demonstrationsUCSB sponsors a circus... but it doesn't involve tight-rope walkers, clowns, or elephants—instead it focuses on Physics! The UCSB Physics department runs the Physics Circus, traveling to local K-12 schools to provide exciting and educational demonstrations. The circus is primarily run by UCSB graduate students, although many undergraduate students and some faculty members also participate. They hope to show students that physics can be fun—and try to provide demos that can help clear up common misconceptions.

Michael Champion, a fourth year physics graduate student, talked with us about some of his experiences with the circus. Champion has been volunteering with the circus since he first arrived at UCSB and also has served as the coordinator. In his opinion, one of the most popular demonstrations they do is with liquid nitrogen, allowing the kids to see assorted items (flowers, banana, racquetballs) freeze. The grand finale is freezing marshmallows for each of the kids. When we asked Champion about what he enjoys most about volunteering with the circus, he said, "I love to be part of the learning process, and I think that it is extremely important to start early while kids are still fascinated by the world around them. I really enjoy being part of that process."

Students enjoy marshmallows frozen with liquid nitrogenStudents enjoy marshmallows frozen with liquid nitrogen

The current Physics Circus coordinator is Karina Roitman, a third year physics graduate student. When we asked Roitman what she enjoyed most about the circus she said, "I love teaching, so that's definitely a big reason why I like it. But I also enjoy the sometimes hilarious responses we get from the kids. And of course, it's awesome to see kids get so excited about physics that they run to find their friends to show them what they just learned."

Roitman made a point to let us know that you don't have to be a physics student to take part in the circus, but you do need to be willing to learn. The volunteers make a point to explain the physics behind the demonstrations and not just go for the "wow factor." If you're interested in volunteering, you can contact Roitman at or check out their website for more information.


Outreach Opportunity: One Laptop per Child Santa Barbara

If you are interested in working with kids, little green computers, teachers, or crazy education researchers, this is the gig for you. Remember working on Apple II Es in elementary school? Well, technology has advanced, but local teachers and children need support to integrate it into their classes.

One Laptop per Child Santa Barbara needs volunteers to:

  1. Work with elementary school kids and teachers on computer programming activities (1-2 hours per week)
  2. Provide technical support for teachers on using the One Laptop per Child (little green XO) computers
  3. Participate in educational research on how kids learn language and computer skills
  4. Help connect elementary school kids with kids in Kenya

If you are interested or want additional information, please e-mail Anne Emerson at


Mentor High School Students in Research This Summer

If you're looking for extra help with your research this summer, you may want to consider taking on a high school student or two through the Research Mentorship Program here at UCSB. Aside from all of the help you'll get with your research, this program also provides you with some valuable mentoring experience and comes with a nice stipend for your time! Check out the flyer below for details!

Call for Research Mentors 


Participating in Educational Outreach Programs 

By Courtney Gosnell - GradDiv Funding Peer

Many graduate students here at UCSB like to spend time giving back to the local Santa Barbara community and engaging in mentoring and educational outreach programs with students from California and across the U.S. Here at the Gradpost, we've had recent requests to gather a list of all of these opportunities in one central location. But, we need your help! Let us know what outreach programs you have taken part in or that are offered by your department! We'll compile them and post the list as a resource!

In the mean time, here are some great programs we've already heard of:

Research Mentorship Program: A great opportunity for graduate students from all disciplines to mentor high school students from California and around the U.S. in research over the summer

Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships: This department participates in a variety of outreach programs for K-12, community college, and undergraduate students. Check out their website for more information and to see how graduate students can get involved!

Physics Circus: Graduate students from Physics are taking what they know to K-12 schools and setting up interactive demonstrations with students