Student Profiles: Breagan Ricks, C'2015
Junior biology major Breagan Ricks believes in the power of science education. As the founder of FunLab, Ricks spent her summer developing her program to bring back to the West End community. FunLab offers students a strong foundation in hands-on scientific experimentation as well as exposure to science related careers.
Each FunLab module begins with a 15 minute lesson that gives students background information about the science topics that will be explored through activities. After the background information is presented, students conduct a 30-minute experiment. Recent FunLab participants were asked to identify the organs in the fetal pig and compare them to human organs. They then explored essential questions like, "How are pig and human organs alike, and then they discussed the different organs that humans have, while also explaining the functions of these organs. Students then predicted what organs they would find in a fetal pig, and under the supervision of Ricks, other Spelman volunteers, and an Atlanta Public School teacher, the students actually had an opportunity to dissect a real fetal pig.
As a Bonner Scholar, Ricks has tutored and mentored students in grades 3-5 at M. Agnes Jones Elementary School for the last three years. During her freshman year, Ricks decided it was time to mesh her passions for community service and science into something that would transform young lives. Launched during the 2012-2013 school year, FunLab not only makes science fun, it gives every student an opportunity to increase their cognitive development, identify role models, and get involved with scientific processes.
The 2012-2013 pretest and post tests of students participating in FunLab show an 80 percent mastery of the science concepts explored during FunLab. By using her creativity to design FunLab experiments, Breagan is enjoying the feeling of childlike exploration that first attracted her to science.
In addition to her FunLab activities, Ricks is an active member of the Spelman community. She is a member of the Ethel Waddell Githii Honors Program as well as the Health Careers Program. She has also been inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta First Year Honor Society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
Ricks is always looking for ways to explore and change the world. The Memphis, Tenn. native has traveled to England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales as an international ambassador, and to the Bahamas for a performance on a Disney World cruise. She also implemented two FunLab lessons at a primary Anglican school in Belize for her 2013 Alternative Spring Break.
This year, Ricks will work as a member of the 2013-2014 Publicity Team for the Miss Spelman Advisory Board, and was recently selected as a Peer Assistant Leader. As a PAL, Ricks is afforded numerous opportunities to explore all facets of leadership, and to serve as an approachable and positive role model for her incoming Spelman sisters.
In her free time, Ricks enjoys singing, shopping, reading mysteries, and spending time with her loved ones. Upon graduating from Spelman, Ricks aspires to become a primary care physician and provide quality health care to patients in urban communities. With all of her success, Ricks says she makes certain to keep God as the center of her joy while getting to know Him better each day.
For more information and to volunteer with FunLab, contact Breagan Ricks at firstname.lastname@example.org