PITTBURG STATE UNIVERSITY

SCIENCE EDUCATION CENTER NEWSLETTER

Spring 1999

 

Todd VanGorden, Editor

Department of Physics
Pittsburg State University
Pittsburg, KS 66762
(316) 235-4292
email: tvangord@pittstate.edu



ARTICLES:

 


SCIENCE EDUCATION AT PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY: NEWSLETTER

SCIENCE EDUCATION AT PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY: NEWSLETTER

Spend June on the Beach...

The Department of Biology is offering an unusual class called Barrier Island Ecology through Continuing Studies during the 1999 Summer session. Join us for a great class that will make a 'big splah'. This 3 credit-hout graduate class will extend from June 8 to July 2, and will include a field trip to the Barrier Islands from Saturday, June 12 through Sunday, June 27.

The course will explore the natural history of an Atlantic coast barrier island, including the geology, plants, animals and culture associated with this unique ecosystem. The four-week course will consist of three parts: a classroom introductory session on the PSU campus, a 10-day stay on Ossabaw Island off the coast of Georgia (near Savannah), adn a follow-up session back on campus.

Travel to the island will be as a class (leaving from the PSU campus), followed by a camping experience near the beach of the Atlantic Ocean. The trip back to PSU will involve a short stay in historic Savannah, GA, and a tour of the Tennessee State Aquarium in Chattanooga, TN.

In addition to tuition costs, participants will be responsible for fieldtrip expenses and books. If you have any questions please contact either Dr. Jim Triplett at (316) 235-4730, or Dr. Cindy Ford at (316) 235-4728.

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SCIENCE EDUCATION AT PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY: NEWSLETTER

Science Education Center On Campus Programs

The Pittsburg State University Science Education Center is again offering a variety of on-campus and off-campus tours and programs. Because spring is a very busy time of year, it is recommended that you contact us as soon as possible regarding programs. This will insure that the programs you request are available.

To schedule Nature Reach tours, Chemistry Demonstrations, Planetarium programs, or a combination of programs on-campus (you come to PSU), please call Karen White in the Physics department, (316) 235-4391.

Prices for on-campus programs are listed below. These are based on an average-size group. Large groups may require more than one program or tour.

Program Price
Chemistry Demonstrations $XX per program
Nature Reach $XX per tour
Planetarium $XX per program
Mathematics $XX

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SCIENCE EDUCATION AT PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY: NEWSLETTER

Science Education Center Off-Campus Programs

The Pittsburg State University Science Education Center is again offering a variety of on-campus and off-campus tours and programs. Because spring is a very busy time of year, it is recommended that you contact us as soon as possible regarding programs. This will insure that the programs you request are available.

There are a number of new off-campus programs for the 1998-99 school year in addition to previously offered programs.

Biology/Life Science Programs

Nature Reach Outreach programs are again offered. Although the schedule is nearly full, please contact Chris Pistole at (316) 235-4727 or (316) 724-6281 as soon as possible if you would like to have Nature Reach programs visit your school. There are several new programs and topics of presentations this year. For a complete description all of the programs, please see the Nature Reach Web Pages. or call Chris Pistole.


Physics/Astronomy/Earth Science Programs

Presently there are several Physics, Astronomy, and Earth Science Programs that can travel to your school for classroom, science club, or other presentations.

STARLAB:A STARLAB portable planetarium is available and can be installed in many classrooms (21 ft. x 20 ft. x 11 ft. high). Programs can be tailored to your curriculum and will include various slides of planets, moon, etc.

Rocks and Minerals: We bring a set of rocks and minerals out to your school and take the students through methods for identification of some of the major rock forming minerals, identification and classification of the three basic rock types, along with a general discussion of the environments under which each forms. (Can support 20 workstations, with 1 or 2 students per station). 45 minutes. (Recommendation: all levels)

Plate Tectonics and Natural Hazards: General discussion using maps and slides of the basic tenets of the geologic paradigm of plate tectonics. How the Earth's lithospheric plates move, the geologic consequences of such motion, and where these occur. 45 minutes (Recommendation: Middle School to High School students)

Oceans of the World: Using slides, rocks, fossils, and maps a general discussion of the oceans brings out details on ocean currents, ocean life, the creation and destruction of the seafloor and the changes that we can see in the ocean records through time. 45 minutes (Recommendations: Elementary to Middle School).

The Solar System: Using slides of the various bodies of the solar system, together with hands-on activities and general discussion we explore the wide variety of bodies which comprise our solar system. (Can support 20 workstations, with 1 or 2 students per station). 45 minutes (Recommendation: Elementary to Middle School).

Note: extra time should be budgeted for question and answer sessions.

To schedule a Physics, Astronomy, or Earth Science Program off-campus, please contact Todd VanGorden, (316) 235-4292.

Chemistry Demonstrations

To schedule an off-campus Chemistry Demonstrations program please contact the Department of Chemistry at (316) 235-4748.

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SCIENCE EDUCATION AT PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY: NEWSLETTER

People To Keep an Eye On

Congratulations to the Fall, 1998 graduating class of Science Education majors at Pittsburg State University.

          Matt Eschelbrenner                     Mike Knopp
          Heidi Gillespie-Layton                     Dustin Mesner
          Jenny Gragg                     Derek Wilson


The class of 1999 will be a good one as well. Currently, Dr. Riches has 13 students engaged in their professional semester, including

Ms. Stephanie Carter at Pittsburg HS with Mr. Merle Clark as her cooperating teacher.
Ms. Sarah Coddington at Olathe North HS with Mr. Gregg Kifer as her cooperating teacher.
Ms. Amy Crocker at Colgan HS with Suzanne Arruda and Ed Martin as her cooperating teacher.
Mr. Hyriam Fleming at Carl Junction HS with Mr. Paul Foster as his cooperating teacher.
Mr. Duane Ford at Uniontown HS/MS with Robert Massa and Dennis Davied as his cooperating teacher.
Mr. Nicholas Jacquinot at Frontenac HS with Ms. Julie Mahnken as his cooperating teacher.
Mr. Corey Katzer at Columbus HS with Voyle Graham and Randy Miller as his cooperating teacher.
Mr. Aaron Locke at Pittsburg HS with Mr. Mike Turnbull as his cooperating teacher.
Ms. Rena Newberry at Baxter Springs HS with Mr. Ron Mann as her cooperating teacher.
Mr. Stuart Perez, Jr. at Girard HS with Mr. Matt Logue as his cooperating teacher.
Ms. J. Michelle Platt at Galena HS with Stan Carter and Ken Cook as her cooperating teacher.
Ms. Amanda Riebel at Marmaton Valley HS with Mr. David Sager as her cooperating teacher.
Ms. Kylie Sheets at Webb City JHS with Mr. Richard Correll as her cooperating teacher.

Congratulations! The best of success to you all.

We would also like to acknowledge some up-and-coming elementary science hot-shots. The following students have completed a voluntary physical science discussion group that was over and above the standard PSU elementary science education courses. Congratulations to: Travis Bolin, Lori Hersh, Monica Holley, Kimberlee Hughes, Amy Ketterman, Adrienne Kubin, Falisha Lowe, and Oletha Pillar. Keep an eye out for these folk a year or two down the road.

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SCIENCE EDUCATION AT PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY: NEWSLETTER

Outstanding Earth and Space Science Student

The Physics Department at Pittsburg State University has awarded its first Outstanding Earth and Space Science Student award. This award is given to the student seeking certification in the Earth and Space Sciences who has excelled in the classroom, is of outstanding character, and has demonstrated a special dedication and commitment to the discipline and to the profession of teaching. The recipient has her/his name inscribed on a plaque in Yates Hall and will receive a small award of Earth Science equipment. We are very pleased to announce the Fall, 1998 recipient of this award. She is Jenny L. Gragg of Nevada, MO. Congratulations Jenny! An honor that is richly deserved.

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SCIENCE EDUCATION AT PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY: NEWSLETTER


PSU Science Day

The 1999 Pittsburg State University Science Day will be held on Thursday, April 29, 1999. There will again be four competitions for high school students: Biology Bowl, Chemistry Capers, Physics Frolics, and Earth and Space Science Competition. Some of these competitions may have revised rules from 1998, although if you would like to browse through last year's competitions and winners, these are listed on the science day web page at:

www.pittstate.edu//info/science-education-outreach/science-day

Information and rules (inluding any revisions) of the 1999 Science Day will be mailed in the coming weeks. If you do not receive this information and would like a copy, please notify us. We will be hapy to send you the information.

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SCIENCE EDUCATION AT PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY: NEWSLETTER

Internet Scavenger Hunt

e have recently developed a few Internet Scavenger Hunts for an inservice presentation. Below you will find an Earth Science scavenger hunt that includes some nice photos from a 'virtual field trip'. Enjoy!

From your web browser, open the Pittsburg State University Science Education Center webpage:

www.pittstate.edu//info/science-education-outreach/index.dot

When this panel comes up, click on Earth Science. Click again on Earth Science, and scroll down and click on Interesting Earth Science Links.

Now you are ready to go. Feel free to look through any of these links which catch your fancy. Below are some questions, although it may require a bit of browsing to find the answers. Just keep looking and enjoy the sites that you visit.

Scroll down to the section, Career Information

1. What do geophysicists use in order to study 'not only the earth's surface but its internal composition, ground and surface waters, atmosphere, and oceans as well as its magnetic, electrical, gravitational forces?'
_____________________________________________

Return to the Cool Earth Science Sites page (using either the 'Back' button or under the 'Go' menu. Scroll down to the Geology section, then click on The Virtual Cave. Explore the different listings and answer the following...

2. What is the name of rock formations formed by the union of stalctites and stalagmites?
______________________________________________

Return to the Cool Earth Science Sites page and scroll down to the Mineralogy section and click on the Smithsonian Gem and Mineral Collection, and then answer the following:

3. Click on the Wulfenite crystals and choose the shape which best describes them: cubes, ovals, spheres, or plates.
_______________________________________________

4. Go back to the minerals and scroll up to Rhodochrosite. Click on this image. Rhodochrosite is the pinkish-red colored crystals. Which shape best describes these? cubes, ovals, spheres, or plates.
_______________________________________________

Return to the Cool Earth Science Sites page and scroll down to the Oceanography section, click on Ocean Planet Smithsonian Exhibit, and then click on Enter the Exhibition Here.

Once in the exhibit, start by clicking on the floor plan area marked Immersion. Then work your way around the exhibit using the floor plan until you find a link entitled SEAcrets. Click on this and answer the following question:

5. What ingredient used to color ice cream do we get from the ocean?
________________________________________________

Return to the Cool Earth Science Sites and scroll down to the SEISMOLOGY section and click on the National Earthquake Information Center. Once there scroll down to and click on Current Earthquake Information. Scroll down and click on the Near Real-Time Earthquake Bulletin. Once there, find the largest magnitude earthquake listed and record the following:
6. Location: ________________________________
Date: _______________________________________
Time: _______________________________________
Latitude: ___________________________________
Longitude: __________________________________
Depth: ______________________________________
Magnitude: __________________________________

Returning to the Interesting Earth Science Links page and scroll down to the Virtual Field Trip Section. Click on A Trip Through the Grand Canyon, click again on the link A Trip Through the Grand Canyon, and then click on the Photo Album icon (the bird). Start by clicking on the Marble Canyon link and work your way through the river to answer the following:

7. Who was the leader of the first American expedition down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in 1869?
______________________________________________

Let's return to the Interesting Earth Science sites and scroll down to the section on VOLCANOLOGY. Click on Volcano World. Click on the following options to answer the following options to answer the question below. Click on Kid's Door, then Virtual Field Trips, then Virtually Climb Stromboli (pronounced strom-bow-lee), and follow the prompts (e.g. 'Let's go', 'Ready, set, go', 'OK, then', etc.) up the mountain to answer the following question:

8. At what altitude is the top of Stromboli?
________________________________________________

Finally, let's return to the Interesting Earth Science Sites and scroll back up to the section on Career Information. Click on GSA Career Center. If you are interested in any of the things you looked at, scroll down a bit and enter the appropriate information so you can receive further information from the Geological Society of America.

In other Internet news, the PSU Science Education Center webpage has been expanded to devote a page to the experiences of science teachers on their geology field trip. It was kind of a cold and rainy day when these brave souls ventured out into the 'wild'. Surf in and check it out.

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SCIENCE EDUCATION AT PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY: NEWSLETTER

PSU Elementary Science Education Conference

The 1999 Pittsburg State University Elementary Science Education Conference will be held Thursday, Febuary 25, 1999 on the campus of PSU. Participants will have the opportunity to attend various sessions throughout the day featuring lesson ideas, hands-on activities, science units, and other aspects of teaching science in the elementary school. The following presenters will be featured at the conference:

Moving Along. A hands-on look at doing Balance and Motion in the elementary classroom. Paula Seal, Aurora Middle School, Aurora, MO.

Earthworm Investigations. A workshop featuring an inquiry-based approach to designing a lab experiment and investigating earthworms. This presentation will start with the 4-step Question Method and lead to a laboratory investigation. Sherri Carter, Aurora Middle School, Aurora, MO.

Leopold Education Project. This program is an activities-based program that encourages teaching in the outdoors. Participants will learn to better incorporate science, math, language arts, art, geography, and our nation's history with the activities. Based on wildlife conservation leader and author Aldo Leopold, this session will also focus on developing environmental awareness and land ethics in young students. Andra Raboin, Southeast Kansas Education Service Center at Greenbush.

Floating and Sinking. This session, primarily for grades 4-6, will focus on the principle of buoyancy and its application to everyday phenomena. Participants will explore activities for concrete thinkers using simple equipment. In addition, a commercial floating and sinking kit will be available for participants to explore and is available for check out for classroom use. Dr. Bruce Daniel, Pittsburg State University.

Global Environmental Change Activities. A presentation on a set of "hands-on" activities, games, role-playing scenarios, and community involvement activities to encourage creative thinking and enhanced understanding of the complexities and problems associated with our environment, such as acid rain, ozone depletion, global warming, etc. Sarah Coddington (presenter), Amy Crocker, Duane Ford, April Ewan-Odell, J. Michelle Platt, and Kylie Sheets, Pittsburg State University.

Planetary Fun. A set of hands-on activities investigating the effects of impact events on planetary surfaces (cratering) and determining the density differences between the different plantes (math skills involved -- multiplication and division). Kelly Herbst, and Keri Sluder, Pittsburg State University.

Mapping Madness. A presentation on a set of three mapping activities, which can be conducted using library Internet resources and a set of world maps. Mapping volcanoes and earthquakes will reveal concepts of plate tectonics, following the paths of hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones will aid in understanding storm tracks and prevailing winds, and using weather data will allow participants to map and follow weather patterns. Kylie Sheets, Amy Crocker and Duane Ford, Pittsburg State University.

Growing Communities. Ideas for growing communities in a zero-maintenance, sealed environment, and watching butterflies as they complete their development stages through a course of a semester. Stuart Perez, Jr. and J. Michelle Platt, Pittsburg State University.

Everyday Science for Fifth Grade. Ideas for integrating the State Science Assessment into your Science curriculum using websites, easy experiences, and a Science Fair. An approach to make the State Assessments less stressful. Diane Deplue, Frank Layden Elementary School, Frontenac, KS.


*A special guest speaker, to be announced, will be featured at the conference

The registration fees for the conference are $35, which includes lunch. There will also be plenty of handouts for you to take back to your classroom. If you would like to attend the conference (and you did not receive a registration form) please contact us at (316) 235-4292.

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SCIENCE EDUCATION AT PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY: NEWSLETTER

Have a Need for a Workshop, Inservice or Course?

The following is a list of courses that we can teach through Continuing Studies -- almost anywhere/anytime.

Solar System for Teachers
Science on the Internet for Teachers
Earth Science Inquiry for Teachers
Integrating Math and Science in the Elementary Classroom
Elementary Science

The problem is that we are unable to offer these courses officially unless teachers have expressed an interest in enrolling in them. Please notify us (writing, telephone, or e-mail) if these courses interest you. If there is interest in a course, we will do everything possible to make sure that the course you need or would like to take is offered.

In addition, we can offer workshops in the summer or on weekends or evenings for optional credit. Please let us know of any ideas or needs you have for a credit or non-credit workshop. Likewise, we can present at a district or building inservice. Please contact us with requests for science-related inservice instruction. Again, we are here to accommodate you. Contact us by phone at (316) 235-4292, by mail at Todd VanGorden, Dept. of Physics, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS 66762 or via e-mail to Todd VanGorden.

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SCIENCE EDUCATION AT PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY: NEWSLETTER

Field Course!

The Physics Department at PSU is offering the course PHYS 560 - Field Studies in Earth and Space Science for the summer of 1999. In talking with one of our pre-service students last semester we discovered that there were a number of people who were interested in having a strong field component to their educational repertoire, and might feel better served with a "cap-stone" earth and space science course which addresses this. A fringe benefit of such a course is that it would provide the student with some resources (rock samples, posters and slides) which would be kept and used in their classrooms.

The pre-requisite for the course will be PHYS 160/165 - Physical Geology/Lab or some equivalent course. Initially, we would probably meet for the technology section of the course. After that, it is off on a trip to Missouri, where we will spend four days (plus travel) in East-Central Missouri in the St. Francois Mountain Igneous Province. Then it is back to your local area for developing local field experiences for your own students. You should choose the local field sites close to where you teach, with the goal of developing a place you can take your students and help them learn about geology, biology, environmental science, and who knows what else.

We will endeavor to keep costs down (mainly by camping in one of the many state parks during the field trip), although you can expect some added expense for the Missouri trip. Enrollment will be limited, so consent of the instructor will be necessary for enrollment. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Tom Shoberg at Pittsburg State University by phone (316) 235-4387 or by e-mail: tshoberg@pittstate.edu. It should be a very fun time!

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SCIENCE EDUCATION AT PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY: NEWSLETTER

Summer Courses for Teachers

The following is a list of courses offered during the 1999 Summer session at Pittsburg State University, and may be beneficial for certificate renewal or graduate work.

BIOL 893-50 Grant Writing Seminar II         July 19-30
BIOL 802-51 Summer Flora July 19-30
BIOL 802-50 Summer Science Experiments July 19-30

 

CHEM 215/216 General Chemistry/Lab         June 8 - July 2
CHEM 215/216 Gen. Chem. & Qual. Analysis/Lab July 5 - July 30
CHEM 320/326 Intro. Inorganic Chemistry/Lab June 8 - July 2

 

PHYS 560 Field Studies in Earth & Space Science         TBA
PHYS 100/104 College/Engineering Physics I June 8 - July 30
PHYS 171/172 Physical Science/Lab June 8 - July 2
PHYS 175 Descriptive Astronomy July 2 - July 30
PHYS 166 Meteorology July 5 - July 30

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SCIENCE EDUCATION AT PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY: NEWSLETTER

News from the Chemistry Department

The Pittsburg State University Department of Chemistry

 

The Pittsburg State University Department of Chemistry just opened a new computer laboratory featuring 15 nice new computers equipped with CD ROMs, sound cards, and connected to the Internet. We have started to add some advanced software programs such as Spartan and Spartan Pro, which have molecular modeling programs suitable for a variety of levels. This laboratory will be used to support the new Vernier data collection systems that we have added to our general chemistry laboratories. Much of the data in the labs will now be collected electronically and then analyzed in the computer lab.

We are also increasing our interaction activities with students from local schools. A middle school student from Pittsburg has recently started a project in our labs involving a study of oils present in pecans, walnuts, filberts and Brazil nuts. A high school student from Carl Junction has begun a project on the bioremeadiation of oil spills in soil. Additionally, a young man from Columbus is interested in starting a project. A list of Chemistry projects has been sent to Pittsburg High School, and we hope to have some of these students working with department facilities and equipment this semester. Last semester two students from Pittsburg High School developed their own chemistry demonstration program and exported their chemical showmanship talents to many elementary school classes. If we can help with any science fair projects, please give us a call at (316) 235-4748.

In other news, a major grant proposal was recently submitted to the National Science Foundation to enhance the use of Chemical instrumentation in the regional community colleges. Howard Kivett, Professor Emeritus from Fort Scott Community College suggested the proposal, while Dr. Peter Hamlet wrote the proposal and is the P.I. If funded, it will provide some equipment for the community colleges, but will also allow them to make better use of existing equipment at PSU. Last year both Fort Scott Community College and Labette Community College brought classes to use advanced level instrumentation. This proposal will encourage further collaboration between PSU and area community colleges.

Finally, the new 300MHz NMR is now up and running. The Biochemistry laboratory has also added a new fluorescent spectrometer, which enhances capabilities in protein cloning and PCR research. If you have any questions about the equipment or facilities mentioned, or would like any assistance relating to chemistry, please feel free to contact the PSU Department of Chemistry at (316) 235-4748.

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SCIENCE EDUCATION AT PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY: NEWSLETTER

Grant Writing Assistance

The Science Education Center at Pittsburg State University is always looking for grant funding opportunities, including opportunities to fund materials and equipment, teacher training and professional development, and research programs. Many sources of funding, such as the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professional Development Program require collaborations between schools, school districts, and higher education institutions. If you have ideas for a project that could be funded by a grant please notify us. We are very interested in collaborating on the proposal. We can provide faculty as part of the proposal, coursework instruction as part of the proposal, and would like to help you write your proposal as part of the collaboration. If you have any questions please notify us.

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