Bonding with high school researchers over bubble tea

On Wednesday, August 7, 2019, WiSER hosted its annual Bubble Tea Night at the brand-new Teaplace Café on Whyte Avenue. More than 30 bright young minds participated in an evening of bonding and networking, marking 2019’s Bubble Tea Night as a huge success.

Every year, WiSER hosts a Bubble Tea Night to welcome high school students who are part of the WISEST Summer Research Program. This program partners students with researchers in the community, allowing them to work on a six-week STEM research project. Fields of research range from engineering to biology, geology, chemistry, medical sciences, and more, with many of the projects being interdisciplinary.

This year, WiSER decided to extend the invitation to community at large, welcoming undergraduate students, graduate students, and working professionals. Attendees sat in groups around tables and cheerfully chatted about their projects, passions, and interests, and those who were too shy to network were encouraged to participate in the conversation through an icebreaker activity— a get-to-know-you Venn diagram.

In this activity, each group member introduced themselves using a sheet of paper, drawing a circle around an area they are interested in, or passionate about, overlapping their circles in Venn diagram formation where possible, with the end goal of identifying an ultimate area of similarity between every group member. An activity like this one helped groups articulate their interests, spark conversation, and help identify common areas of passion – a team of four had a common interest in data management, while another group’s conclusion was “passion for fashion.”

A “get-to-know-you” Venn diagram from one group of participants.

Although the event was only scheduled for one hour, many attendees were so engaged in conversation that they stayed to network even further.

Attendees were keen to provide WiSER with constructive feedback, which the executives hope to use to grow and improve our events. WiSER executives were thrilled to see another Bubble Tea Night come together, and to see community members bond with each other. Please stay tuned in to WiSER’s social media pages and website to learn about our next event in September, and keep up to date with upcoming activities with our monthly newsletter.