Free Science & Engineering Institute, Sept. 15

6 years ago


ASMSA will host a free Science and Engineering Institute giving students in sixth-10th grades the opportunity to learn about genetics, the flow of rivers, the spread of epidemics, and to get a first-hand look at the rocks and thermal water that give the city of Hot Springs its name.

The classes will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 15 on the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts campus, located at 200 Whittington Avenue in downtown Hot Springs. 

Students may choose to attend two of the following sessions, which will be taught by ASMSA faculty:

  • "Your Amazing DNA Genetics" 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. Patrycja Krakowiak will teach the class.


  • The “Hot Springs Revealed” 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. Dr. Lindsey Waddell will teach the class.


  • Students choosing the “Modeling Streams and Epidemics” option will participate in two mini-sessions. In the first session, 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. In the second session, 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. Dr. Jon Ruehle will teach the class.

The classes are free and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Space is limited to 60 students and pre-registration is required. Please note, as of Aug. 27, the September classes were filled and registration is closed. Check this website soon for details about the October session.

Free registration for the classes is provided by a grant from the Ross Foundation. Additional classes will be offered on the third Saturday of each month during the 2012-2013 school year.

For more information, contact ASMSA Instructor Dr. Lindsey Waddell by email or by calling 501-622-5133.

« Back to News Archives

Upcoming Events


Prospective Students:

Click Here if you'd like to receive more information about ASMSA or have questions regarding the school and/or the admissions process.