Who we are

We are a group of scientists at the University of Colorado Anschutz who volunteer to do science education outreach activities in our local community. Started by a group of postdoctoral researchers in 2014 with funding from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Young Hands in Science has grown each year and has brought fun, hands-on science activities to hundreds of students in Aurora and Denver. 


In the news


Diversity in STEM

Increasing diversity in STEM is incredibly important. STEM jobs have increased by 79% since 1990, with more than 25 million scientists and engineers employed in the United States today. Less than half of scientists in the United States are women, and only 7% are black and 8% are Hispanic. Diversity is crucial in science and the workplace; diverse teams problem-solve better, are more objective, and companies with greater diversity make more money. An early exposure to hands-on science is crucial for children to consider careers in STEM, and yet many schools do not have the resources or funding to achieve this. Young Hands in Science aims to increase diversity in STEM by bringing the University of Colorado's resources and scientists directly into local classrooms to ensure all students in our community have access to hands-on science lessons. 

 NSF 2015


Our results


Our funding

Interested in donating to Young Hands in Science or becoming a sponsor? Please email us at younghands@ucdenver.edu


Meet Our Executive Board


Nicole Rumian

Nikki is a neuroscientist investigating how protein modifications to CaMKII may alter learning, memory, and cognition during aging and age-related diseases.  Outside of lab, you can find her at a Red Rocks show, rain, snow, or shine. 

Director of Finance:

Thomas Forman

Thomas is interested in regenerative medicine and when he’s not researching you can catch him training for a triathlon!

Curriculum Director:

Rachel Hill

Rachel is a graduate student in the D’Alessandro lab, where she studies the metabolism of leukemic stem cells. Outside of the lab, Rachel enjoys making embroidery art and playing with her dog.

Curriculum Director:

Sarah Kawell 

Sarah works as a research staff member who investigates the pain signaling pathway with the hope of developing new methods for pain management. She also enjoys painting, reading, and mentoring teens.

Volunteer Coordinator:

Samantha Bromley-Coolidge

Volunteer Coordinator:

Francesca Manzella

Francesca is a neuroscience graduate student studying how steroid hormones work as anesthetic drugs in the brain. Outside the lab, she spends her evenings doing yoga and cooking tasty Italian food. When more time permits, she attempts to travel around the world.

Social Media Director:

Rosemary McDonald

Rosie studies the brain hormones that control the reproductive system and how they change with age and between genders. One hobby she enjoys outside of the lab is spending time with her dog, Blazey and her cat Taco (pictured here)!

Social Media Director:

Josselyn Garcia Perez

Jossy works on mechanistic and translational questions in human immunology using high-dimensional single-cell mass cytometry and ex-vivo cellular manipulation. Her goal is to understand healthy immune function, and dysregulated immune processes in immunodeficiency.

Director of Online Education:

Alexa Silva

Alexa develops methods for the expansion of specific immune cells across species to combat diseases, and hopes to go to PA school. Outside the lab, she loves to paint, explore and do outdoorsy things, and travel both domestic and abroad. 

School Outreach Coordinator:

Breanna Symmes

Breanna is a postdoctoral fellow who is passionate about helping other people to understand and appreciate Biology. 

Post Doc Association Liaison:

Dylan Mori

Dylan is a postdoc working on developing antibacterial coatings for dental materials to selectively kill cariogenic oral bacteria. Outside of lab he enjoys volunteering, biking, music, and spending time with friends.

Young Hands in Science, sponsored by University of Colorado Anschutz

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