This month’s STEM Facilitator that we are proud to highlight is Karen Duquette! Below she has answered some interview questions about her work with Project Exploration.

  1. Tell us a little about how you got involved with Project Exploration and why you wanted to join our team?

At first, I had no idea what Project Exploration was about. I had just gotten an email about a job notification as the STEM Facilitator for Forensic Investigators. I decided to join Project Exploration because it made me think of the times I put on various workshops for younger generations. I had so much fun putting on those workshops and getting the younger generations into Forensic Science.

2. How do you feel your work as a STEM Facilitator relates to your studies in Forensic Science while you were at Marian University?

Even though this is a different route with using my degree in Forensics then what I expected. I feel that this opportunity is a way of reaching out to younger generations and teaching them something new. My whole goal for this Forensic Investigator program, is to make sure the students are having fun, and learning about Forensics. With my degree, I’m able to encourage younger generations to consider going into Forensics or any type of science field.

3. Is there a memorable event, student, or group that stands out in your mind that you have worked with? Or any specific project?

When I was back in school, my fellow colleagues and I had to put on a variety of workshops for Upward Bound Math and Science program. The program consisted of variety of students from different middle schools. My colleagues and I had different workshops that consisted of: Forensic Photography, Fingerprints, and Bloodstain Analysis. After they went through all the workshops, we had a mock crime scene that they went through to figure out what happened and how to go through the crime scene. I felt that the program, and helped those middle school kids get more of an understanding of Forensics.

4. Through working on Forensic Investigators with Project Exploration, what have you learned from working with Project Exploration youth?

From the Forensic Investigator program, I have learned that the kids are really intrigued in this program. They get really into the hands on activities, which they follow the instructions and then they will try to do something else with the activity. Like for our footwear impressions activity, they had to cast their shoe print. After some of the kids were done, the decided to try to cast their hand, and scissors.

5. Outside of working with Project Exploration youth, how do you enjoy spending your time?

Outside of Project Exploration, I try being outside as much as I can. Whether it’s hopping in the car and going somewhere or taking the train to downtown, I love being outside! Since I can’t be outside every moment because of this Midwest weather, I usually catch up on my shows, and watch Netflix.

6. What’s next for you?

Honestly, I don’t know what is next for me. I just take one day a time and see where it leads me. Now being with Project Exploration though, I might want to go back to school for my teaching degree/certificate.

7. Is there anything else you can see yourself getting from Project Exploration?

Being able to get younger generations interested in Forensic Science, and being able to show them what it really is. Also, I can see myself building connections while being with Project Exploration. Whether that be building connections from field trips to guest speakers.


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