Bio Class visits URMC Life Sciences Learning Centers

March 14, 2016

The Life Sciences Learning Center (LSLC) is a unique hands-on science inquiry center for students and community members.  It is located at the University of Rochester Medical Center.  They offer innovative and engaging programs to area secondary students.  We invited a local high school student to share her experience following a recent visit to the LSLC.

A few weeks ago, my biology class visited the University of Rochester’s Life Sciences Learning Centers. We only knew that we were doing a lab, so we didn’t quite know what to expect. Upon arriving, we donned our lab coats and sat down at our individual stations. We immediately started a lab that involved the development of an HIV vaccine. First, we studied the spread of the virus and how the immune system reacts to it. This involved exchanging fluids which could possibly contain the virus. We then tested our fluids to see who was “infected.” Our instructor then showed us how to set up gels to test the vaccines. We got to use a micropipette to place the solution in the gels, which proved to be a bit of a challenge. However, there were some future doctors and scientists who were definitely naturals. After this, we sent an electrical current through the gels. Our results helped us determine which vaccine would be the most effective.

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Brockport High School Bio Students visit the LSLC

At the end of the program, our class got a photo together.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time at the learning center. I liked getting to see what doctors and scientists do every day to help save lives and advance technology. I would definitely return to do another lab.

 

Bridget Moyer is a 9th Grade Student at Brockport High School.

Want to learn more about the Life Sciences Learning Center?

URMC To learn more about the LSLC, visit their website or check out their facebook page to learn more about their exciting work with area students.

STUDENTS:  Are you a local student interested in writing about your experiences in local STEM activities?  We invite you to join us for our student guest blog series! Contact our Web Administrator at tammybon@EmpireSTEM-FL.org

 

 

 

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STEM Scholarship is now open for Fall 2016

March 9, 2016

The New York State Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Incentive Program application is now available for high school seniors entering college in fall 2016.stock-illustration-35725116-scholarship-stamp

The STEM Incentive Program is available to those students who:

· Are in the top 10 percent of their high school Class of 2016

· Plan to attend a SUNY or CUNY college or university in fall 2016

· Plan to pursue an undergraduate degree in a STEM program of study

· Plan to work in a STEM field and live in New York State for at least five years after graduation

· Meet other eligibility requirements listed on the HESC website.

The deadline for application is August 15.

To learn more about the program and it’s requirements and regulations, visit the HESC website.

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The “E” in STEM

April 20, 2015

Last month during Engineering Week, we started taking a look at Engineering Explorer Posts available to our local High School Students.  This week’s focus is on Explorer Post 801, hosted by the Rochester Engineering Society.

Explorer Post 801

Explorer Post 801

The members of the Rochester Engineering Society (RES) feel the best part of STEM is the “E”.  Each year, the RES sponsors “Career Options in Engineering”, Explorer Post 801.  The post is open to older high school girls and boys in the five county area around Rochester, NY.  The focus is to help students find out what “Engineering is really about”.

The stereotypical engineer has thick glasses, bends over a desk all day, writes with a mechanical pencil all while avoiding eye contact with people.  The purpose of Post 801 is to introduce students to real engineers, doing real work in the real world.  I’ll bet there is at least one of us that matches the stereotype, but most engineers spend their day talking with other engineers, customers, trades people and consumers trying to solve real problems.

Explorers at __________

Inside the RIT Microelectronics clean room

Students hear about a typical day in the life of an engineer from the engineer.  Students learn about engineering education, about the perks of being an engineer and even about some of the trials an engineer might experience.  This is not about slick power point presentations, but more show and tell, with a smattering of advice from the heart.

Each of our presenters tells the story of their road to engineering.  Some were math whizzes in high school but a few were not!  They tell the story of what college they selected and why.  We always hear a few stories about special jobs they did that you would never expect an engineer to do.  One has a story of cleaning up Anthrax contamination in a NYC sky scraper while another has stories of working on JFK autopsy pictures.

Explorers at ______

Gleason Works

Each engineer tells the story of a job that pays well, offers constant challenges and continuous learning, but offers the bigger perk of personal satisfaction.  At the end of the day, engineers design and build products that help people.  Imagine your personal pride as you are in a car driving over the Frederick Douglass – Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge in Rochester with your family and grandchildren, knowing that your work helps tens of thousands of people make it home from work each day, every day, safely and quickly.

The post runs from January to March, meeting each Thursday night from 6:30 to 8:30.  Sign up is in early October.  This year we had 24 students and 12 meetings.  Our students met engineers from: Chemical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Structural Engineering, Highway Engineering, Bio medical Engineering, Microelectronic Engineering, Software Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, Electro-Magnetic Interference Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Imaging Science.  You can see the full schedule on the RES Website.

Explorers at _____

Chemical Engineering at RIT

Each week we meet at a new location so we can see and feel what it is like to be an engineer.  We tour facilities like: the Gleason Works, the Microelectronics Wafer Fab Facility at RIT, the Bio-medical Engineering labs at the U of R, the Electro-Magnetic Interference and Product Safety Test Engineering labs at TUV Rheinland of North America and the Ginna Nuclear power plant.

The RES Explorers would like to express our appreciation for the generosity of our host companies, institutions and most importantly the presenters that donated their time and talents to meet with our students.  Our program will start again in January 2016 and we would welcome your children.  Contact Lynne Irwin at the RES res@frontiernet.net (585) 254-2350 or Keith Gomez Keith.Gomez@scouting.org from the Seneca Waterways Council, BSA (585) 244-4210 for more information.  The cost of the program is approximately $40.

Richard Repka is a Commercialization manger at Kodak Alaris.  He has a BS & MS in Electrical Engineering from RIT and Syracuse University.  Richard is a Senior Member of the IEEE and a member of the Rochester Engineering Society (RES), where he also leads the RES Explorer Post 801.RESLOGOFINAL_cmyk_tagc


Race Car Made From Vegetables And Runs On Chocolate

May 13, 2009

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Last week, Warwick University in England unveiled its 95% biodegradable race car that runs on chocolate. It has been made entirely of sustainable and renewable materials including vegetables!

The idea of using chocolate as biodiesel is not new as the team that drove across Europe and West Africa on 2007 demonstrated (Journey across Europe to Timbuktu, Chocolate Powered Truck). But the University of Warwick took it many steps further. “While the main focus of car manufacturers has been decreasing engine emissions, the University of Warwick team broadened their vision to include the raw materials used to build the car, as well considering its final disposal” (Chocolate Powered Car). “The project clearly demonstrates that automotive environmentalism can and should be about the whole package” (Chocolate Powered Racing Car…).

Materials:

steering wheel carrots
seat flax fiber shell, soy bean and recycled polyester
mirrors potato starch
brake pads ground cashew nut shells
body potato starch, recycled carbon fiber, recycled plastic bottles
lubricants plant oils
biodiesel cocoa butter (a waste product from making chocolate) turned into bio-ethanol and mixed with vegetable oil to make biodiesel

The car is expected to go 145 mph and 125 mph around corners. It took more than nine months to develop it and the cost was around USD$227,000.

Project Director, James Meredith, said “The WorldFirst project expels the myth that performance needs to be compromised when developing the sustainable motor vehicles of the future” (Chocolate Powered Racing Car…). He also mentioned that the team plans to use similar techniques to build other vehicles, such as road cars and boats (TG Daily).

Will there be enough chocolate waste to power these vehicles?

It seems that the world will need many sources to produce the biodiesel that vehicles being developed will need. This is all very exiting and I can’t wait to see it all unfold.

For more information, watch the video:


Famous Women in Mathematics

April 29, 2009

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There is a very special relationship between one of my math professors this semester and a student in the class. The professor has said several times during the semester: “I need to find out about some female mathematicians”, usually after comments like: “…and that math book was written by a man, right?”  They have inspired me to do a little bit of research about famous women in mathematics to arm my professor with much needed information to respond to the student before this semester is over!

Hopefully this information will be useful to others to encourage young girls to pursue a career in mathematics or related fields.

I found three websites with lists of famous women mathematicians. Some of the links in the websites link you to biographical databases in other websites.  The three websites are: Biographies of Women in Mathematics, Famous Mathematicians from Underrepresented Groups, and Female Mathematicians. I checked all the mathematicians that were in more than one of the three lists and here are the ones I picked:

Name

Achievement

Theano

c.16 Century B.C

Wife of Pythagoras. Ran School of Pythagoras after his death. Wrote works on the Golden Ratio.

Hypatia

370?-415

Made idea of conics easier to understand.

Florence Nightingale

May 12, 1820 – August 13, 1910

Called: Prophetess of Applied Statistics

Invented Polar Area Chart in the form of polar wedges to dramatize the needless deaths caused by unsanitary conditions and the need for reform.

Winifred Edgerton Merrill

September 24, 1862 – September 6, 1951

First American woman to receive a PhD in math.

Worked on the geometrical interpretation of multiple integrals and figure out the computation of the orbit of a comet.

Maria Gaetana Agnesi

May 16, 1718 – January 9, 1799

“By far the most important and extraordinary figure in mathematics during the 18th century.”

Most important work: Analytical Institutions gave a clear summary of the state of knowledge in mathematical analysis. It included: analysis of finite quantities; elementary problems of maxima, minima, tangents, and inflection points; analysis of infinitely small quantities; integral calculus; and the inverse method of tangents and differential equations.

Grace Chisholm Young

March 15, 1868 – March 29, 1944

Worked with her husband on set theory. Authored 13 publications with her husband and 18 by herself.

Bruckner and Thomson wrote that “The whole field of what was then called ‘the theory of functions of a real variable’ was reworked and rewritten in those first decades [of the 20th century]. The Youngs played a major role in that effort.”

Edith Clarke

February 10, 1883 – October 29, 1959

Achievements in applications of mathematics to engineering.

She became an authority on the manipulation of hyperbolic functions, equivalent circuits, and graphical analysis.

Irmgard Flugge-Lotz

July 16, 1903 – May 22, 1974

Professor Flugge-Lotz acted in a central role in the development of the aircraft industry in the Western world. Her contributions spanned a lifetime during which she demonstrated, in a field dominated by men, the value and quality of a woman’s intuitive approach in searching for and discovering solutions to complex engineering problems.

Ellen Amanda Hayes

September 23, 1851 – October 27, 1930

Hayes wrote several textbooks on Lessons on Higher Algebra (1891, revised 1894), Elementary Trigonometry (1896), and Calculus with Applications, An Introduction to the Mathematical Treatment of Science (1900).

Edna Kramer Lassar

May 11, 1902 – July 9, 1984

Kramer’s greatest work is considered the book, The Nature and Growth of Modern Mathematics, which was published in 1970. This work took her 14 years to complete. In 1972 she was elected into the Hall of Fame at Hunter College. Her many books still are read and studied today, including A First Course in Educational Statistics, Mathematics Takes Wings: An Aviation Supplement to Secondary Mathematics, and The Main Stream of Mathematics.

Rózsa Péter

February 17, 1905 – February 16, 1977

Péter was the author of Playing with Infinity: Mathematical Explorations and Excursions, translated into at least 14 languages, and Recursive Functions in Computer Theory. The latter was the second Hungarian mathematical book to be published in the Soviet Union because its subject matter was considered indispensable to the theory of computers.

Helena Rasiowa

June 20, 1917 – August 9, 1994

Helena Rasiowa greatly contributed to the development of research in Poland on applications of logical methods in the foundations of computer science. She was one of the first to realize the great importance of mathematical logic for computer science – and at the same time she clearly saw the significance of computer science for the development of logic itself.

Argelia Velez-Rodriguez

1936-

Cuban Black Woman: First Black woman to receive a doctorate in mathematics at the University of Habana. She taught in several American schools before joining the mathematics faculty at Bishop College in Dallas, Texas, where she was chairperson of the Department of Mathematical Science from 1975 to 1978. In 1979 she became a program manager with the Minority Institutions Science Improvement Program in Washington, D.C. Since 1980 she has been a program director for the Department of Education.

As the author of Famous Mathematicians from Underrepresented Groups said: “… until recently, women were mostly prevented from doing mathematics, so relatively few women have become famous in mathematics.” Therefore, now that women are able to study mathematics, we must inspire, encourage and help girls become interested in mathematics at an early age and help them pursue careers in math or related fields.


Imagine RIT Festival

April 17, 2009

imagine-rit-2009

This is the second year of  the Imagine RIT Festival which includes displays of art and science, sometimes combined.  It will have more than 400 exhibits.  It also includes food and entertainment for children and adults.  It’s going to be fun, entertaining and educational. What more do you need?

Location: RIT campus, Henrietta, NY

Day: May 2

Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: FREE of CHARGE

I plan on attending and may post some pictures on this blog afterward.  Make plans with your family and make sure you don’t miss this festival!

For more information or to see pictures of last year’s Imagine RIT Festival go to: Imagine RIT


Fuel Our Future Now

April 14, 2009

feulourfuture1 

The X Prize Foundation,  the U.S. Department of Energy, and Discovery Education have joined forces to create an online knowledge center entitled, FuelOurFutureNow.com.

This site serves as a hub and is designed to spark student interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Upon visiting the site, visitors can select their grade level, and browse resources designed specifically for students and teachers.

Videos, virtual labs, interactives, and puzzles illustrate complex ideas such as  motion, chemical energy, speed, and wheel mechanics in clear and understandable terms.

Visit the site today, and let us know what learning activities you find most useful.