How to Sign Up
These programs are best suited to classrooms in middle schools. To sign up, reach out to the presenter directly to arrange a date, time, and means of connection that works best for you both.
Reach out to Katherine at email@example.com with any questions.
A Look at Invasive Species
Alyssa Wethington, Mid-Michigan CISMA
What are invasive species and why are they an important conservation concern? This presentation works to educate students on the basic facts regarding invasive species, as well as explain the roles stewardship and citizen science play in mitigating their damaging effects.
Ask a Physicist: Dr. Nathan Whitehorn
Dr. Nathan Whitehorn, IceCube Group, MSU Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Explore physics through virtual demonstrations and activities such as cloud chamber particle detectors, listening to musical instruments to gain understanding of acoustic signatures and the Big Bang, and other phone-based tools used to analyze data from IceCube Neutrino Obsevatory at the South Pole.
Ask a Physicist with MSU WAMPS
Ask a Scientist: Nature in My Backyard with Emily Conway
Emily Conway, MSU Department of Plant Biology
Emily's research interests center on plant community dynamics broadly, and how plant communities are formed within urban ecosystems using ecological restoration more specifically. There are many unanswered questions about the dynamics in urban or disturbed natural ecosystems; these include questions revolving around how plant communities are established, how they compete with invasive species, and even basic questions about the ability of these plant communities to persist in these novel urban environments. Through her work, she hope to better understand plant community assembly dynamics in urban ecosystems, using prairies as her focal community type.
Ask a Scientist with Entomologist Elizeth Cinto Mejia
Elizeth Cinto Mejia, MSU Department of Entomology
Elizeth Cinto Mejia is a PhD candidate in the Entomology Department at Michigan State University. In the past, she has worked with fish, corals and birds in the Mediterranean and with birds, bats and insects in the desert and mountains of Idaho. Here at Michigan State, she is studying how heat waves alter plant communities. She is especially interested in global change and ecological questions.
Elizeth is happy to join your classroom for an Ask a Scientist session in either English or Spanish. Please reach out to her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a date and time
Assessing the health and well-being of seeds and seedlings
Dr. Eunice Foster, MSU Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences
Discover how scientists use tetrazolium to assess seed health and compare seedling vigor of different corn, soybean, and wheat seedlots.
Awesome Amazon: an exploration of the past, present, and future of the world’s largest rainforest
Marielle Smith, MSU Department of Forestry
The Amazon rainforest is the largest contiguous tropical forest, and one of the world’s greatest remaining wilderness areas. Home to a quarter of terrestrial plants and animals, it is hugely important for biological diversity, as well as being a critical component of the Earth’s climate system. And yet, it faces considerable threats, including increasing deforestation rates and fires, which have been highly publicized recently, and climate change. We will take you on a journey through this wondrous forest’s past, present, and future. Along the way, we will share photos and videos of our experiences conducting field campaigns in the Brazilian Amazon, including a wide array of animals, and climbing into 160 foot tall trees to make measurements. We will discuss the key challenges to the Amazon forest’s survival, including our lab’s research (the Tropical Forest Ecology Laboratory at MSU’s Dept of Forestry), which seeks to understand how the forest is responding to climate change. Join us for an interactive multi-media presentation and discussion with our diverse research team!
Bird Banding Demonstration & Field Observation
Kristy Taylor, Michigan State Bird Observatory
Learn how the MSBO captures and bands birds using our mini-mist net set up! Using our mini-set up, students will learn how we extract birds from the nets, weigh birds and learn about bird health. They will also get to see real bird bands and learn how this helps to study migration and migratory stop-over site use. Students will also be asked to observe a bird outside their own windows and share their observations with the class.
Black Holes: the strongest gravity
Dr. Abbie Stevens, MSU and UofM Astronomy
Join Dr. Abbie Stevents to learn more about black holes and how scientists can see and study them.
Cloud Chamber Demonstration
Dr. Rob Halliday, IceCube Group; MSU Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Using dry ice and isopropyl alcohol vapor, we can see (with our own eyes) the trails of atomic and subatomic particles. Some of these may even be from other parts of our galaxy! I will present this demonstration over video through a "cloud chamber" with dry ice and rubbing alcohol.
Community Science is for the Birds!
Kristy Taylor, MSU Bird Observatory
Your sightings can help contribute to the growing knowledge about migratory birds! We will walk through a few free apps, eBird and Merlin Bird ID to help students learn about bird identification and how to contribute to community science
Design and Test Your Own Medical Device
Hannah Rosenfeld, Univeristy of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Join us for an introduction to identifying problems and testing solutions in biotech! This activity is intended to show students a different way that they might be able to use science outside of the lab, and encourage them to think creatively. At the end, students should understand how to identify and learn about problems, and be prepared to start thinking about how to test products. This program is customizable for each classroom to relate to classroom content, reach out to Hannah directly to plan a session.
Jill Martin, Huron-Clinton Metroparks
Join an interpreter to virtually explore one of the ecosystems at Indian Springs Metropark. We will go onsite to a wetland or prairie and take measurements of windspeed, temperature, relative humidity, and light intensity. We will also observe the plants and any signs of animals. This is expected to be a live, synchronous field exploration, but a video back-up will be made available, as well. Students will be able to ask questions and explore in real-time. We will discuss how we keep ecosystems healthy in a park setting, which is good for people, but also plants and animals!
Engineering Design Challenge
Susan Ipri Brown, Hope College Department of Engineering
Engineering - how does it differ from science, math, and computer science? What do engineers do all day? Explore the engineering design process through a guided problem solving activity using everyday materials in your classroom. A member of the Hope College Department of Engineering and a current student will share their experiences with the class and guide them in the activity. A set of pens are necessary for the activity.
Exploring with Scientists: How have some frogs avoided extinction?
Kyle Jaynes, MSU Integrative Biology
This activity is part of an online program series called 'Exploring with Scientists' offered through the Science Education and Outreach collaboration at Kellogg Biological Station, MSU. In this session, Kyle will cover the discipline of Herpetology, the study of amphibians and reptiles. Learn about careers in science and herpetology and take a 'day in the field' with Kyle in Ecuador in search for endangered frogs to learn how scientists answer questions like, how do some frogs avoid extinction?
Glow in the Dark Bacteria
Chris Waters, MSU Microbiology
Join Dr. Waters and explore biolumescent bacteria! Bacteria Vibrio harveyi induce bioluminescence at high cell density by secreting small signaling molecules that accumulate with bacterial numbers. It is produces a beautiful greenish-blue light that is easily visible in a dark room. Come see it for yourself and learn all about it!
Hands-on Soil Ecology
Daniel Hoffman, MSU Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences
Daniel is a graduate student studying soil ecology at Michigan State University, where he works with farmers to improve soil health of farmland. In other words, he is a scientist who studies tiny animals that live in the dirt. When we have healthy dirt, we can grow tasty food. Join Daniel for hands-on activities and demonstrations exploring soil ecology!
How school students can play an effective role in now and in the future?
Muhammad Rabnawaz, MSU School of Packaging
Plastic is not a perfect material but a critical part of our future. But the increasing plastic waste is making our planet less sustainable. School students can play a significant role both now and in the future. How? I will address how school students can play an effective role in now and in the future.
Introduction to 3D Printing and Modeling Using Tinkercad
Dr. Tracy Zhang, MSU St. Andrews
3D Printing and modeling is a great way to get students excited and engaged in STEM education. The presenter will walk audiences through the process of 3D printing and basic model design using Tinkercad. It offers an excellent learning opportunity for teachers and students who are interested in 3D printing technology.
Light this Candle!
Dr. Patton Allison, MSU Mechanical Engineering
What exactly is going on in a flame? Let's take a look at how the science behind a candle can be used to power rockets going to Mars.
Meet an Animal Ambassador
Annabelle Raines, West Bloomfield Parks
Students will have the opportunity to meet one of the animal's that lives in our Nature Room. We will discuss the time and care that goes into being responsible for a wild animal, as well as general information and fun facts about the animal.
Michigan Mind Trekkers
Katy Beesley, Michigan Technological University
Mind Trekkers is a flagship program of Michigan Technological University’s Center for Educational Outreach. Michigan Tech students volunteer their time as Mind Trekkers guides who travel the country with the group to showcase a traveling STEM show with high energy demonstrations and crazy smart dedication to the K-12 students they’re serving. Our main goal is to inspire these kids to one day pursue careers in STEM, just as most Trekkers themselves have.
Pennies are Protons: Nuclear Science at Home
Zach Constan, National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory
Students will build and name nuclei with a simple model, then learn to read the chart of nuclides before playing Isotope BINGO. This all leads to a better understanding of the world-class nuclear research conducted at MSU's Facility for Rare Isotope Beams!
Plant Wars: How to Survive Insect Attacks
Leah Johnson and Ian Major, MSU Molecular Plant Science, Cell and Molecular Biology
Students will learn about strategies plants use to defend themselves against herbivores like insects. They will look at real lab data from MSU such as videos of insect challenge experiments and discuss hypotheses and conclusions of the data. We will also identify examples of plant defense strategies that people experience day-to-day in their own homes.
Strategic Decision-Making Through Gaming
Dr. Shaunak D. Bopardikar, MSU Electrical and Computer Engineering
Learn how to reason and make effective strategic decisions through simple techniques of game-playing. Dr. Bopardikar is faculty member with the MSU Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Their research interests are in the area of robotics and control.
Tuning In to Einstein’s Universe
Dr. Timothy Dolch
During Tuning Into Einstein's Universe we'll introduce black holes, pulsars, gravitational waves, and pulsar timing arrays.
Urban Planning in Our Lives: Olympics, Autonomous Vehicles, and Artificial Intelligence [View program trailer here]
Dr. Mark Wilson, MSU Urban and Regional Planning; Planning, Design & Construction
Explore the depth of Urban Planning with Dr. Mark Wilson of MSU's School of Planning, Design and Construction. Topics to explore include organizing the Olympics, planning for sports stadiums, preparing for autonomous vehicles, and how artificial intelligence can change how we live.
Using Google Earth to Map your City
Dr. Kyla Dahlin, MSU Department of Geography
Discover how Google Earth, and Google Earth Engine can be used to map and understand any landscape around the world while exploring future careers in geography and remote sensing!
What's the difference between an Alligator and a Crocodile?
Angelina Kelly, Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary
Join us for live alligator and crocodile demonstrations while we explore the differences and similarities between them.
Dr. Abbie Stevens, MSU and UofM Astronomy
Neutron stars are among the most extreme objects in the universe! They're dead stars that have as much mass as the Sun crammed into a sphere only 15 miles across. Some neutron stars are in a binary orbit with a regular star like our Sun, and they slowly drain and eat the matter from the regular star like a zombie over hundreds of millions of years. Pulsars are a type of neutron star with magnetic fields more than one trillion times as strong as the Earth’s magnetic field. The north and south magnetic poles shine lighthouse-like pulses of light as the pulsar rotates many times per second. Scientists have seen about 2,000 neutron stars, but estimate that there should be hundreds of millions of neutron stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. In this activity, you’ll learn all about neutron stars and get to craft your own pulsar to take home!