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Fun Science

Fun-Science Activities 

Fun-Science Activities are an opportunity during BIO 101 to experience science in action, and learn some concepts in a more relaxed setting. Over the course of the semester, each student will complete three activities of their choosing.


1) Game Theory by Dr. Carl Lee

Students will learn about mathematics outside of the standard curriculum. They will be exposed to recreational mathematics, which includes mathematical games, providing them with a much broader sense of the mathematical landscape, in an exciting and fun format. Students will see a series of games; each one, in its own way, offers connections to interesting, and often "serious" mathematical content and practice, as well as ongoing research in mathematics and mathematical economics.


2) Energy and Caffeine: What’s the Rush? by Dr. Hollie Swanson

We will be exploring the effects of caffeine on our bodies. We will drink caffeinated beverages and measure the effect of these beverages on our heart rates. Will everyone’s heart rate change?  Let’s find out.


3) Explosive Volcanic Eruption Simulation by Mr. Peter Idstein; 

We will examine the important sources of energy that drive explosive volcanic eruptions.  Discuss how compositional variations of magma control the style of eruptions.  Using non-lethal material (rubber ducks), we will simulate explosive eruptions and then map the distribution of the volcanic ejecta.  There is no indoor venue large enough that will accommodate the wet conditions of this activity so we will not have an adverse weather venue.  This is a lot of fun so it will be conducted even in the rain the only weather that will cancel activities will be severe weather (thunder and lightning) or temperatures significantly below freezing.


4) Being a Community Doctor by Dr. Neena Thomas-Eapen

Dr. Thomas-Eapen will lead a discussion-based session on what a Family and Community Medicine Physician does on a day-to-day basis. The session will involve gaining experience with some basic techniques such as using a stethoscope, measuring blood pressure, and so forth.


5) The Scientific Method in Medicine by Dr. Shannon Voogt

Students will discuss the concept of research in medicine, and how to apply the scientific method to humans (which gets really messy)! They will discuss the PICO approach (Problem/Patient/Population, Intervention/Indicator, Comparison, Outcome) and formulate a question/research idea. Students will then talk about how this applies to birthing and the changes in the last 60 years in how birth is approached, and why much of what we do has no evidence.


6) Demonstration of the Solar Car by the UK Solar Car Team

The UK Solar Car Team is a student-led organization that builds and improves solar cars. Students join the group on a voluntary basis and learn to design, construct, repair, solve problems, and trouble shoot through a hands-on team-based approach. You will meet the team, see a demonstration of the student-built solar car, and hear about their enthusiasm that inspires them to be a part of this team.


7) Career Assessment by the UK Career Center

The Career Center will help students learn to assess their capabilities and interests with future career goals so as to be successful in their chosen careers. Often students are unaware of the myriad of exciting careers they could be successful at; this assessment helps them narrow it down and ensure that they are selecting careers that they are well suited for.


8) Reproductive Strategies and Fitness by graduate students Brittany Slabach and Allyssa Kilanowski

This is a fun outdoor game that helps us understand how various life history (sexual) strategies—asexual, monogamous and promiscuous—can affect biological fitness in the context of predator-prey interactions. The game simulates a predator-prey system in which the "prey" people alter their reproductive strategies in each round of the game--as they are trying to forage, mate and trying to make babies, all while trying not to get eaten by the "predator" people. There is going to be a lot of chasing, courting, stalking, and pouncing, so please dress appropriately, and be prepared for a lot of fun and frolic!


9) Be an Excel Pro! by Cliff Harpole 

Using Excel is essential in today’s world, whether professionally or for your personal accounts, scheduling, and book-keeping. Particularly in a STEM field, being unfamiliar with Excel can be a setback. In this activity students will get familiar with Excel by managing data, making graphs, and running analyses. This activity will help students be prepared for labs, research projects, and science in general.


10) Physics Petting Zoo by Dr. Kwok-Wai Ng

In the Physics Petting Zoo you can play with different exhibits without worrying breaking things, and learn some interesting physics through hands-on experience.