Opportunity for quality STEM hands-on scientific and technical activities designed for high school students. If the student is already interested in science and technology, this is for them! If the student shows a spark of interest, this will fan that flame.
Through this exciting hands-on approach, students will be able to leave with a greater appreciation for the world of biotechnology, pharmacy, and forensics. Students will be exposed to the Penn State Harrisburg world-class biotechnology facility. They will actively participate in an exciting laboratory-based scientific investigation using state-of-the-art DNA profiling techniques. In addition students will perform a problem based learning exercise to understand the mechanisms of molecular biology. The second part of the day students will explore Nature’s Pharmacy through a Taste, Touch, and Feel experience.
Students will participate in a hands-on laboratory exercise to determine who has been exposed to a ‘zombie virus’ and to discover the appropriate ‘cure’ from a set of mislabeled flasks. Students will perform ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) testing to determine who has been exposed and identify the ‘cure’ using various physical and chemical properties including color, density, gas chromatography, and paper chromatography.
Past, Present, and Future of Construction Materials: Think the General Motor’s commercial “It’s not your father’s Oldsmobile,” students will learn how materials have evolved. They will explore materials used in today’s construction through hands-on testing and explore potential materials of the future.
Then in Session 2, Build-A-Bridge, students will learn the basic concepts of design. In a hands-on friendly competition, teams will compete to test their bridge building skills and understanding of design concepts. The session will also address civil engineering challenges of the future.
Beyond Computer Programming: The computer science sessions will explore using the “science” in computer science, showing that the discipline covers much more than just computer programming. We’ll use games and logic puzzles to explore a broad survey of tools and techniques in computer science. The survey will include how computers encode, compress, and encrypt information, how artificial intelligence can be used to tackle difficult problems, and what problems computers cannot solve.
Students will learn about biological behaviors such as light seeking or light avoidance. They will then learn how that behavior can be replicated in a simple robot. We will then describe the design of the robot and how the individual components work. We will then learn how to solder, assemble the robot kits, and get them working. Finally, students will be allowed to make improvements in their robots for better speed and efficiency. At the end of the session, students may keep their robots.
The mathematics sessions will introduce cryptography and error-correcting coding theory. Information can be encoded numerical through modular arithmetic. Cryptography addresses how messages are encoded, sent securely and then decoded. Error-correcting coding theory addresses how errors in messages can be detected and corrected.
Students will learn about lift, drag, and propulsion as they design, test, and redesign) paper airplanes to improve on their performance. A competition will be held to determine which design can produce the maximum flight distance. Mechanical engineering topics introduced during this session include: forces, fluid mechanics, efficiency, and sustainability.
In the second class, students will get hands-on experience with 3D printing. How does a 3D printer work? What are the different types of printers and materials that can be used? The steps from conceptual design to 3D modeling, preparing the CAD file for print, and finally3D printing will be demonstrated using real life applications. Students will have the opportunity to 3D print different items.
We now know that DNA is a double-helix. But how did people figure that out? Scientists used their knowledge of how the world works - physics - to design and perform an experiment. A critical tool was knowing that light behaves as a wave. We will explore properties of light and conduct measurements of our own that reveal some of how light works.