Wittenberg Saturday Science is a new outreach program that aims to expose area high school and home school students to science and its many possibilities. Eight academic departments – biology, chemistry, computer science, geography, geology, mathematics, physics and psychology – are collaborating on the program, which is scheduled to run once a month during the school year.
Each program features a public presentation by a Wittenberg faculty member on an accessible science topic, likely something outside the typical high school curriculum. After a continental breakfast on the second floor of the David L. Hobson Atrium, students then take part in a hands-on science experience led by current Wittenberg students and their professors.
"The first time that a student sees science outside of a textbook can be a powerful experience – both for the student and the teacher," said Adam Parker, assistant professor of mathematics. "We hope that this outreach program will have a dramatic effect on both high school students from the Springfield area, as well as our current Wittenberg science majors."
Anes said his presentation offers "a tour of the human visual system, a look at visual illusions that shed light on how we see, and discussion about how vision breaks down after brain damage."
"Seeing is very complex," he said. "Even the newest robots can’t see like humans do!"
Wittenberg Saturday Science is funded by a grant from Future Jobs, a regional workforce development program. Wittenberg is a partner with Future Jobs and University President Mark H. Erickson is a member of its board of directors.
The mathematics department hosted the first meeting of Wittenberg Saturday Science on January 24. Approximately 35 high school students, along with some of their teachers and parents, were in attendance for a presentation by Parker titled "The Symmetric World," which examined the mathematics behind some of the patterns seen in the brickwork, tiling, fabric, woodwork, or metalwork around campus, and laboratory experiments afterward. Future events will be hosted by Assistant Professor of Chemistry Ray Dudek and Assistant Professor of Biology Michelle McWhorter in March and April, respectively.
There is no cost to participate in Wittenberg Saturday Science, and the public is welcome to attend the lecture portion. However, space is limited for the hands-on experience. Click here to register for the event or send an e-mail to request additional information.
Written By: Ryan Maurer
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