The SCH Science department returned to hosting its annual Kleckner Scientist in Residence, a unique experience for science students since 2007. This year, we were fortunate to have Samantha Queeno, a molecular anthropologist and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Oregon, who worked with each 11th grade Biology section.
In her first class, Queeno summarized her inspiring pathway to her current Ph.D. work, during which she explored a variety of interests but ultimately followed her passion for digging deeper into human evolution. Samantha’s current dissertation research applies cutting-edge molecular methods and comparative genomics to identify the parts of the human genome that optimize our muscles for endurance running and walking to understand how, and perhaps when, long-distance bipedal locomotion evolved in our lineage. The amazing questions asked by students reflected her immediate impact on their learning. During her second day in our labs, she worked with students to measure and analyze differences in skull, pelvis, femur, and foot shapes and sizes between humans. chimps and human bipedal ancestors. New skulls, pelvises, and femurs were made available to our collection through the gracious funding of the Kleckner Fund, honoring long-time science department member, Lilian Kleckner.
During her time at SCH, Samantha will also be conducting a workshop for our science teachers entitled "Science, Race and Society” which ties into our diversity, equity and inclusion work.