Science Club for Girls visits FACE Lab

May 15, 2014

Science Club

The Science Club for Girls recently got hands-on experience with tools used in Emerson's new FACE Lab for autism research. Pictured are (front row) Giana Fischer, MyChalia Sanfilippo, Victoria Fischer, (back row) Aicha Belabbes, Sandra Buck, MA '15, Assistant Professor Ruth Grossman, Jameelah Julien, Nadwa Ibrahim, and Brenda Rafterty. (Photo by Gina Varamo '13)

Middle and high school-age students from the Science Club for Girls recently stopped by two grant-funded laboratories in Emerson’s Communication Sciences and Disorders Department to get hands-on experience in scientific research.

The girls participated in presentations of the Remote Eye-tracker Device (RED), which had them record and view their eye-gaze patterns in response to stimuli. Faculty use RED for research on healthy and impaired populations of people, including those with aphasia or on the autism spectrum.

They also used other lab equipment, including an electrolarynx, which is a vocal tone generator that facilitates speech for individuals who have had their larynx surgically removed.

The Science Club for Girls members specifically visited Emerson’s Communication Disorders Lab, which is receiving support from the National Science Foundation; and the Facial Affective and Communicative Expressions (FACE) Lab, which is receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Based in Cambridge, the Science Club for Girls serves to foster excitement, confidence, and literacy in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for girls, particularly from underrepresented communities, by providing free experiential programs and by maximizing meaningful interactions with women mentors in STEM.