Workshop Descriptions


Registration will open on or before February 1, 2019!

2018 Girls In Science workshops

Saturday, June 23, 2018

—Jill Welter, Ph.D., Biology, St. Catherine University, Saint Paul, Minn.

Dr. Jill WelterProfessor Jill Welter, from the St. Catherine University, will speak to students about her research in the Arctic that aims to understand how human activities that cause environmental change, including climate warming and nutrient pollution, influence aquatic food webs and nutrient cycling.

Group 1

Save the Penguins Habitat | Heidi Masters, Ph.D., Educational Studies
Come help save the penguins habitat! Due to global climate change, penguins are in desperate need of your engineering skills. To help save the penguins you will need to come up with a solution to keep ice from melting. Please join me and let’s see you put those engineering skills to work as you build and test your own ice shelter. 

Stone-Age Life: Could You Cut It? | Connie Arzigian, Ph.D., Archaeology/Anthropology
What do you think it was like when getting your dinner or clothing depended on making and using stone tools? You'll make and then use some stone tools to see how they did it, and what we can learn about life in the past.

Making Bones Speak! | Amy Nicodemus, Ph.D., Archaeology/Anthropology
Ever wanted to be a forensic anthropologist like Temperance Brennan (Bones) or Dr. Mallard on NCIS On CBS. How are they able to identify someone from just a few bones? In this workshop we’ll look at some (replica) human bones that were found in the woods. Who was this person? What did they look like? See how real scientists work, we will figure out the sex, age, height, and ancestry of the person from their bones, to help the police identify their remains.

Group 2

Talking to Computers: How the Internet Works | Samantha Foley, Ph.D., Computer Science
Computers need special languages and infrastructure to communicate across the Internet. How do computers talk to other computers across the world? What does it take to make a language that can be understood by someone on the other side of the Internet? In this workshop, we will learn how the Internet works and how messages are sent across the world. We will also work on our own language for communicating across the Internet and practice sending messages to our friends. 

How Not to Get Sick (of Math!) | James Peirce, Ph.D., Mathematics and Statistics
Infections can be spread in many forms. The common cold is shared when a healthy person is exposed to a sick person. Swimmers' Itch, a nasty rash we get when we swim in infected lakes, is caused by little parasites that mistake us for ducks. Remarkably, math can be an important tool in understanding how diseases are spread and often can suggestion ways of reducing future infections. This workshop will be a hands-on, interactive introduction to common mathematical methods in fighting disease spread. 

Discovering Mathematics with a Deck of Cards | Whitney George, Ph.D., Mathematics and Statistics
Abstract: For this session, we will focus on a card game called SET. This is a game where you match three cards based off of their characteristics such as color, number, or shape. While this is a fun game in its own right, the real fun begins when we learn how the cards can define lines, planes, planets, and universes. We will learn about the game SET, play a few rounds, and then jump into some mathematical constructions with these cards. As a participant, you will learn how mathematicians think when presented with an abstract problem and how they come up with solutions.  

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Group 3

Crime Scene Investigation: The Case of Jason Worth | Faye Ellis, M.S., Biology
A missing heir, Jason Worth, comes from a world of money, power and mystery. Use the skills of a forensic scientist to discover who kidnapped Jason Worth by analyzing blood samples, finger prints and other evidence to solve the crime.

Zombie Brains! | Christina Schwartz, Ph.D., Biology
In the movies, we see zombies stumbling around trying to eat more and more human brains! But what could be happening in THEIR brains to cause them to act like this? In this workshop, you will be neuroscientists investigating zombie behavior and brains. You will learn all about zombies, investigate real brain samples, and determine how a normal healthy person could potentially turn into an undead monster! Please note that this workshop involves dissecting and handling REAL brains! 

Junkyard Digestion | Sumei Liu, Ph.D., Biology
The human body needs food to survive. The digestive system converts the foods we eat into their simplest forms and absorbs them into the blood. The bloodstream carries the nutrients to every cell in our body, which will be used for energy. What is the digestive system made of and how does it work? In this workshop, you will build a working model of the digestive tract out of used goods and household items. You will then test your model and make sure it digests food and produces an end product (i.e. “poop”). 

Group 4

C How Much Do You Spew? | Basudeb Bhattacharyya, Ph.D., and Kelly Gorres, Ph.D., Chemistry and Biochemistry
Have you ever asked yourself…how much carbon dioxide (CO2) do I spew? If you have asked this important question, you’re not alone! We exhale CO2 when we breathe and produce more of this gas through everyday living. But what effect does this have on our daily lives? In this hands-on workshop, we will explore the chemical nature CO2 and its effects on climate, the environment, and our lives. So…how much do you spew?

When Light and Matter Collide, There’s Chemistry | Kendric Nelson, Ph.D., Chemistry and Biochemistry
From the colors we see in a rainbow to glow-in-the-dark toys, light-matter interactions are the source of these phenomena.  We will investigate what matter is and how light can be reflected, absorbed, and even emitted from matter.  An investigation of some common household items with unusual light-matter interactions will be undertaken.

Roller Coasters! | Seth King, Ph.D., Physics
Have you ever wondered how a roller coaster can go upside down or make a barrel roll? Why does the start hill have to be so high above the ground? In this program you will learn about the scientific principles that govern roller coaster design, and use them to build your own model roller coaster!