As Science Friday’s director of audience, Ariel Zych actively leads the engagement, learning, research, and impact strategies and activities at Science Friday, working to make science exciting, accessible, equitable, and representative to a growing national audience.
Ariel joined Science Friday in 2013 as its inaugural education manager, designing new lessons and experiments, planning teacher trainings, drawing diagrams, and curating collections of SciFri media for libraries and partners. Before that, Ariel was a high school biology, marine science, and environmental science teacher in Washington D.C. In addition to being a classroom teacher, Ariel has created and facilitated informal and formal science programs around the country and has developed curricular materials and experiences for camps, cruises, campuses, zoos, museums, scouts, parents, teachers, and schools.
While completing her master’s degree in entomology at the University of Florida, Ariel once discovered the mechanism of acoustic communication in scentless plant bugs, which was super interesting to her, but not to many other people. Several other memorable scientific pursuits include studying snail gonads, collecting ticks, caring for colonies of social spiders as an undergrad at Cornell, tagging dragonflies, sailing aboard the E/V Nautilus and, more recently, traveling to Antarctica to cover long-term research on the frozen continent.
Ariel constantly misses her home town of Portland, Oregon, and loves traveling the world, eating fun food, family time, and spending time outside.
Explore the dry, dim world of hypolithic or “under rock” cyanobacteria and measure and compare colony growth in deserts around the world.
Learn how hearing aids work, then conduct your own test to determine whether hearing aids can improve speech recognition for cochlear implant users.
Sometimes taking something apart can reveal insight into how it works.