Beginning in September 2012, ASMSA will offer a free Science & Engineering Institute for students in sixth - 10th grades. These classes will be offered from 9 a.m. to noon on the third Saturday of each month through May 2013. Classes will be taught by ASMSA instructors. Pre-registration is required and space is limited to 60 students on a first-come, first serve basis.
Free registration for the classes is provided by a grant from The Ross Foundation.
Click here to learn more about the May 18 classes and to register.
Below is a list of classes that will be taught at different times during the 2012-2013 school year. More details will be posted as they are finalized.
Students will measure the effect of reactant concentration on the rate of a chemical reaction. They will determine the overall rate law of the reaction and calculate the rate constant for the reaction. A reaction associated with a dramatic color change will be used. This class will also explain why gasoline, not dynamite, isused as fuel. Instructor: Dr. James Luba.
This session will describe how musical sound is made and how it is perceived. You will learn why musical instruments are built the way they are and why similar looking instruments often sound very different. We'll also discuss how you can use this information to improve your playing. Instructor: Dr. Brian Monson.
The Mathematics of Game Shows
Students will investigate the mathematics behind popular game shows. When should you accept the banker’s offer in “Deal or No Deal?” How should you bet in “Final Jeopardy?” Should you switch or stay in “Let’s Make Deal”? Instructors: Bob and Denise Gregory
The Hot Springs Revealed
This session will explore the unique geological conditions responsible for the thermal waters of Hot Springs National Park. Participants will learn to identify the rock types found in the park and will discover why these rocks are so mangled and fractured. Participants also will learn about groundwater as they explore how and where rainwater enters these rocks, how the water is heated, and how it eventually emerges in the form of hot springs. This session will include a walk down Central Avenue to observe the rocks and the hot springs. Instructor: Dr. Lindsey Waddell
Students will build a solar viewer using a box, aluminum foil, white paper, and tape. The class will go outside (weather permitting) and "look" at the sun and see if there are any sunspots present. Using the diameter of the sun, students can calculate the distance to the sun from Earth. Learn how to safely view the sun. Instructor: Shane Thompson
Model of the Solar System
How much space is in space? In this activity students will calculate the relative sizes of the planets and the distances between them if the sun were the size of an orange ping-pong ball. The class will then go outside and measure out the distances. The class also will talk about how long it would take to get to places in your car in the solar system and beyond. Instructor: Shane Thompson
Don't Be Left Out in the Cold!
What does it mean to freeze? In this activity students will explore the frozen world of cryogenics. Objects that are normally flexible become rigid, and gases become liquids. See and learn about levitating magnets and what happens when gases heat up. Foods can be cooled quickly and the results can be very tasty. Instructor: Shane Thompson
To the Skies!
Looking for a new use for your old 2-liter soda bottles? Reuse them and create a bottle rocket! In this activity the class will explore Newton’s Laws of Motion and how rockets work. Students will have an opportunity to build and launch their own rockets. Please bring a rinsed out 2-liter bottle. Instructor: Shane Thompson
Newton was more than a seller of figs
How does stuff move? Isaac Newton figured that out many years ago and wrote about his Laws of Motion. In this activity students will learn some neat ways of demonstrating Newton's Laws that can amaze their friends and family. Instructor: Shane Thompson
Students will perform experiments using pennies and other objects to discover the laws of probability. Instructors: Bob and Denise Gregory
The Art of Fractals
After a brief introduction to the concept of fractals and chaos theory students will design and construct their own fractals to take home. Instructors: Bob and Denise Gregory
A stream table will be used to simulate rivers in the laboratory. The stream table will allow students to alter variables such as slope, discharge and load in order to examine several characteristics of river flow and gain an understanding of the factors that control river morphology. Instructor: Jon Reuhle
Talcum powder contaminated with GLO GERM POWDER® will be used to model the spread of an epidemic. This harmless fluorescent powder will allow participants to actually "see" whether they have been "infected" by viewing their hands under ultraviolet light. Instructor: Jon Reuhle
Learn about the history of NASA's robotic exploration of Mars from the 1960s to the present day. In 1965 Mariner IV was the first unmanned space probe to fly by Mars and take pictures of the Red Planet. Those photos showed a world pocked by craters and seemingly lifeless. Nevertheless, our search for life on Mars has continued to the present day. The Mars Curiosity rover is the latest in a long line of unmanned space probes and rovers that NASA has sent to the Red Planet to search for evidence of life. Instructor: Ron Luckow
Your Amazing DNA Genetics
This is an activity for students who want to know more about the structure and function of DNA. The first part of the activity will include an interactive introduction to genetics and DNA, followed by building DNA out of candy and/or isolating the real thing from the students' cheek cells. Finally, students will get to see how forensic and molecular biologists visualize DNA using electrophoresis gels and DNA dyes. Instructor: Patrycja Krakowiak.
Playing the Lottery
Probability is a powerful tool that can be used in a variety of situations to make informed mathematical decisions. One example of this is the Powerball lottery. The chances of any single person winning the Powerball are practically non-existent, but people win all the time. How likely is it for a person to win the Powerball? How does that likelihood compare to other virtually impossible events? Is there a point at which the Powerball odds actually favor the player? In this course, basic probability and combinatorics will be used to answer these questions and many more. Instructor: Josh Ulrey
Finding Planets Beyond the Solar System
So far we have detected hundreds (maybe thousands) of planets that orbit stars far from the Sun. Most of these are gas giants like Jupiter, but some might be more like Earth. How can we tell things like the size of the planet when they are so faraway? How do we find these planets in the first place? In this class, students will do a lab with model stars and planets to learn how NASA's Kepler project analyzes light from these distant stars, and participate in a citizen-scientist opportunity to help the Kepler team find real extra solar planets. Instructor: Jack Waddell
Mind Over Splatter: Fun with Non-Newtonian Fluids
Some fluids don't act like normal liquids such as water. They can act like a liquid or a solid depending on how fast you try to make them move. These are called "non-Newtonian fluids." In this class, students will do a series of experiments using an inexpensive non-Newtonian "ooze" (that you can make at home!) and answer some important questions. Can you poke a hole in a fluid? What happens if you throw it at a wall? How do you make alien tentacles rise out of a dish of ooze? And maybe the biggest question of all -- can you run across a fluid? Instructor: Jack Waddell