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Olivia Croft and Jess Oldham facilitated student teams as they made hypotheses about which bacteria were degrading the bioplastic more rapidly. Alex Nichols, Jessica Sutter and Rebecca Upjohn led students through the trigonometry calculations that were needed for the construction of a Harry Potter chess board. Finally, Jessica Sutter taught students about how rotational velocity can be used to enable calculation of star and planetary motion.
From here, Ella talked about how viruses maximize space for the genome by building a capsid “house” that is an icosahedron. Jessica talked about how the volume of pulsing stars change and how that affects light intensity. She noted that astronomers can determine the volume of a pulsing star by measuring light intensity.
For another class, Ella designed an activity in which students used the proportion of their shadow length to their height, along with the length of a light pole shadow, to calculate the height of the light pole. For the final class of the day, Health and Nutrition, Ella showed students how to do liquid chromatography with ground up red cabbage, nail polish remover and coffee filters!
The visits were transformative for all involved:
I was very impressed to see students using the scientific method to foster discovery! One group I worked with initially hypothesized that it would be impossible to change the area of their rectangle without changing the perimeter. After thinking about how to test this, they found that their hypothesis needed a slight revision. Through discussion and experimentation, this group adjusted their hypothesis to fit the data they gathered, in which they found they could use the same perimeter to build shapes with many different areas! This is exactly the processes I work through in my research! It was so awesome to see the students doing real science! ~Jessica
The Roadshow positively impacts all who are involved with the activities. It is great for younger students to get a taste of the scientific method and work through problems as a group. Working on problems that can be applied to the real world helps the students understand why science is important. As the Roadshow team, it is very rewarding to see the younger students excited about science and to see their minds come together to solve problems. The Roadshow has helped me realize the importance and benefits of sharing my knowledge with others. ~Joshua Walmsley
The Roadshow provided a new opportunity for the students and staff at Riverton Middle School to work on applying cross-curricular concepts. Students participated in hands-on activities, while combining math and science standards. They learned a lot from interacting with Rachel, Josh, Jessica, and Ella, and from the discussions they facilitated in the small groups. It was beneficial for me, as a teacher, to have the activity modeled. Also, it created further interest for the students in how they could specialize in science when they go to college, and it widened their perspective on how they can apply science and mathematics. It was educationally beneficial, exciting, and fun for the kids and staff! ~Nanna Frazier (7th grade math teacher)
During science class, I met 4 people. Jessica, Josh, Ella, and Rachel. They were there to teach 7th grade science class about perimeter and area. They taught us that you can keep the same perimeter, but also change the area. They all walked around class and helped groups. You could tell that they were happy to be there, and we were also happy they were there. ~Sara (7th grade student)
The college students that came to RMS to educate us on area and volume and I enjoyed it because they showed us that if you increase the distance in a shape it will increase the volume.The students that came over explained what they studied or majored in to show us what we could study when we go to college. I also enjoyed it because they also taught us to calculate the shape to determine the volume. It was nice that they drove all the way here just to work with us. ~Korben (7th grade student)
The Roadshow Team consisted of:
The LAMP/WRSP Roadshow traveled to Moorcroft, Rozet and Gillette on Wednesday and Thursday, the 20th and 21st of February. In Moorcroft, Olivia Croft, Jess Oldham and LAMP Director, Rachel Watson spent the day with Jenna Thomas’s second grade students. The students learned about Olivia’s research on snails and Jess’s research on antibiotic resistance in Wyoming waterways. Jess and Olivia led the students through math problems that they would do in their research; the students even learned Scientific Notation. At the end of the day, one student said that the learning the lazy scientists way to write numbers [scientific notation] was her favorite thing. In the afternoon, the students created a food web by throwing a ball of yarn from the primary producer to consumers and eventually to apex predator. Olivia and Jess then led them through the building of their own ecosystem.
On Thursday, Jess, Olivia and Rachel taught Gillette’s Rawhide Elementary students to ‘learn like Jungle Tigers’ while Ella DeWolf, Tyler Myers and Mercedes Fermelia led students at Rozet Elementary through a journey into plant rhizospheres [communities of roots] of the soil and their potential to mitigate erosion. Even before the Roadshow team left Rozet Elementary, the students had created huge, handmade thank you cards.
The Roadshow Team consisted of:
Note: Brett Ralston (Microbiology Major from Washington) contributed a book and planning to support our “Build an Ecosystem Activity”; Josh Walmsley (Chemistry Major from Douglas) contributed a fluorescence demonstration.
The visits were transformative for all involved:
Quotes from the Roadshow:
“There is something magical about the curiosity of a kindergartener. They all had tons of energy and were so excited that “the scientists” had come to visit. Things that I do on a routine basis, such as looking through a microscope, were new and exciting experiences for them. Their energy reminded me why I decided to study science in the first place -- science is super cool!” - Mercedes
“It’s amazing that a small investment of time and effort can change the course of a student’s life. I’m thankful to make those investments as part of the roadshow, even if that student is just me” - Jess
“Watching students discovering the world is awe inspiring--whether it’s looking in a microscope for the first time to observe a microbial community, or creating a model ecosystem, the enthusiasm that students have for exploring their world is incredible. We have an amazing group of future scientists in Wyoming,” - Olivia
“It is absolutely stunning to me that collegiate level students could effectively teach second graders. It was a beautiful thing to witness. The kids were engaged the entire time; they were a part of hands on learning, using strategies that didn’t require a pencil and paper. They were able to learn about scientific components that aligned to our curriculum, yet also went above and beyond. Kudos to the LAMP Roadshow! You have me in awe”. - Jenna Thomas, 2nd Grade Teacher, Moorcroft K-8
“You are so nice.” - Jasmine, 2nd grade student, MK8
“I had fun with the snails.” - Kyrra, 2nd grade student, MK8
“I am so glad you came to visit us.” - Isabella, 2nd grade student, MK8
“I liked making the colonies.” -Levi, 2nd grade student, MK8
“I like the snails were the best.” - Danica, 2nd grade student, MK8
“Are our scientist back today? How about tomorrow?????” - Ezra, Kindergarten student, Rozet
“I liked learning about the lazy scientist.” - Jasmine, 2nd grade student, MK8
On Friday, November 9th, 2018, the LAMP/WRSP Roadshow hit the road again and did active learning in the gym with 66 students in grades K-8 from rural school districts around Douglas. We immersed the students in the chemistry of ocean acidification, the ecosystems of plant rhizospheres and adaptations of the Asian Longhorn beetle! Before diving into these stations, the students played a rousing game of selective pressure in which most were monkeys with varying tail lengths. The predators, Bear Cats, sought to catch the monkeys. After five minutes of hard running through the gym, students saw how monkeys with short tails were selected for!
Student and Teacher Quotes:
“Putting the snail shell powder in was great!” ~Treston, 3rd grader, Dry Creek
“I liked the part where we played the game about the long tails and the short tails. I learned that there are different ways for animals to survive. The short tails survived because it was harder for the predators to get their tails.” ~Allison, 3rd grader, Dry Creek
‘I had a short tail and I survived!” ~Matthew, kindergartener, Dry Creek
“The bugs were cool! I liked the grasshoppers because I studied them last year.” ~James, 1st grader, Dry Creek
“I loved going to the bug table and seeing the Asian Longhorn Beetle. How big is the biggest bug in your collection? I also have another question, is it possible to go from basic, to acidic, then to neutral?” ~Hannah, grade 7 Dry Creek
"Thank you for coming. I has so much fun with you guys. Thank you for teaching us about the ocean, bacteria, and bugs. I want to give you another thanks for what you guys taught us about.” ~Daniel, grade 4 Dry Creek.
“I had so much fun. My questions are: For the bug table- where did you get all the bugs from including the Asian Longhorn Beetle?
For the ocean table- why does the water turn red when we blow CO2? We think it is because CO2 is more acidic, is that correct? For the bacteria table- Why is there so much bacteria in plant soil?For all- When will you come back? I really had fun with you guys!” ~Rylie, grade 5 Dry Creek
“I learned a lot about the ocean and the PH scale. I also learned about beetles including the Asian Beetle. I also liked the bacteria station because I could look in the microscope and see bacteria that I can’t see with my naked eye. Thanks so much for coming- hope to see you again!”
~Jesus, grade 6 Dry Creek
“I liked all of your stations. How do you kill the bacteria when you first get it from the soil?”~Ben, grade 4 Dry Creek
“The sessions with our students were enriching and I appreciate the fact that your team worked with our teachers to gear your stations to our classroom learning, so that this time together could be an extension and an enrichment of what we are already doing. Teachers, just like students, learned so much from your visit that we can apply within our daily lessons. We cannot wait to partner with you again and also to get guidance of future activities we can use to cover multiple science standards and those standard’s three dimensionalities! Thank you for being willing to travel to us, to be excellent teachers, and to share your knowledge. This program helps to strengthen science in our schools and also gives students models (of your UW students) to look at in order to help our students frame and plan their own futures!!!!” ~Mrs. McGuire, Dry Creek
Quotes from the Roadshow Team:
“The looks of excitement on the student’s faces were truly inspiring. To be able to see that spark in a curious mind is revitalizing to us as educators! Tyler and I had a fantastic time showing students how CO2 emissions push the equilibrium towards a more acidic ocean and the impacts that can have on ocean life and the ocean environment. We have such a great crew of roadshowers, and the impact we have on the state is wholly important for bettering Wyoming’s education.” - Brett
“The best thing about this trip is that everyone involved seemed to leave feeling inspired. For me, there is very little more rewarding than seeing the look on a kid’s face when something clicks and they understand a new idea or when they see bacteria under the microscope for the first time. I felt like I was able to open the door to a microscopic world for these students and in return, their curiosity and excitement inspired me. I was equally inspired by my fellow roadshowers and I know the kids were too. It is truly an honor to be a part of this roadshow crew!” ~Ella DeWolf
“The Roadshow is such an amazing way to connect with students around the state. I thoroughly enjoy every trip because I am continually inspired by not only the students, but my fellow roadies. One of my favorite parts of this trip was seeing students dig in to expose plant root systems and see their reactions when they looked into the microscopes.” ~Mercedes Fermelia
The Roadshow Team consisted of:
Rock Springs High School student quotes:
"It was really fun and I enjoyed y’all coming down to teach us. I am glad you did hands on activities with us instead of just explaining it. It was a joy and I’m happy you guys decided to come and teach us."
"I really liked the presentation and I learned a lot because it wasn’t just a bunch of random information thrown at us. You guys made it interesting and I really enjoyed the hands-on activities. Thank you so much!"
"I liked having you guys come - it is fun watching the undergrads learn how to interact with my students. The students also learn that the stuff we do is applicable and you don't have to be a “scientist” to love and use science in everyday life. You are always welcome in my classroom." ~Deb Jensen, Rock Springs High School Science Teacher
"Since when did school become fun?!”
“We should do more activities like this in class.”
Quotes from the Roadshow Team:
"This was one of my favorite experiences I have had teaching. I absolutely love seeing students having fun doing science and exploring their curiosities, and that is exactly what I saw within most every student. I was also inspired by my roadshow peers as I see amazing capabilities in every single one of them. I found myself surrounded by great people and great students and this will be a trip I will remember for a very long time." ~Brett Ralston
"Wow! I can’t even begin to reflect on this amazing trip without getting excited. Having an opportunity to partake in hands-on scientific learning with High School students is one in which I will cherish for a long time. We challenged them to dive deep into difficult concepts, and they did just that! Many were awestruck and curious to figure out the “why” behind what they observed, and in those moments I saw future scientists. My passion for teaching grew tremendously that day, and I cannot wait for the next roadshow." ~Tyler Myers
"This LAMP trip to Rock Springs was an experience in which I saw many incredible minds working together. When we first got to the high school, I was not expecting the students to engage in our activities to the extent that they did. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that while some students were a bit weary at first, by the end, all the students were working together and having a blast doing so! It was great to see each of the LAMP members contribute to the active learning goal and support each other throughout the day. I look forward to seeing the many changes this program will bring to the lives of students everywhere!" ~Chayse Rowley
"I feel so lucky to have been a part of this Rock Springs Roadshow team. Not only did I get to interact with some of the most brilliant and dedicated people on campus, I got to see their genius in action as they worked to spark innovative scientific thought in high school students. This trip was about so much more than HPV or oil spill education; it was an opportunity to reach beyond our university community and extend a hand to students of all backgrounds, letting them know that they have a place at University of Wyoming and other post-secondary programs, in STEM and beyond." ~Olivia Croft
"To me this was an incredible experience to really experience diversity, especially in this state where this is seldom seen. It was also eye-opening in the sense of how much you could tell these students enjoyed a hands on learning environment, and something that they does not occur for them too often. In a sense this trip allowed me to check my privilege and be thankful for all of the opportunities that I have been given, and has made me want to extend these opportunities to others." ~ Brenna Lindsey
"This experience is one that I will treasure always. Though we were primarily there to teach high school students about science, it ended up being so much more than that. Active learning isn’t just a fun way to learn, it seems to serve as a space where students feel valued and heard. It was incredible to see these students go from being reserved and quiet to fully engaging with their peers." ~Mercedes Fermelia
The Roadshow Team consisted of:
Brett Ralston (Microbiology Major from Washington)
Ella DeWolf (Microbiology and Molecular Biology Double major from Laramie)
Chayse Rowley (Microbiology Major from Cheyenne)
Brenna Lindsey (Microbiology Major from Laramie)
Rebecca Upjohn (PhD student in Ecosystem Science from California)
Tyler Myers (Chemistry Major from Sheridan)
Mercedes Fermelia (Microbiology Major from Cheyenne)
Michelle Mason (PhD student in Physics from California)
Olivia Croft (Microbiology Major from Sundance)