Wittenberg Saturday Science is an outreach program started last year that exposes 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.
"We are very happy with how the program started. Last semester brought more than 60 students to Wittenberg from 15 different area schools," said Adam Parker, assistant professor of mathematics. "Feedback from both parents and students has been positive. We look forward to continuing to reach out to area students and show them the beauty and usefulness of science."
Ritter's presentation, which discusses upcoming modifications to lowhead dams for recreational purposes on Buck Creek, will be followed by a science experience sure to be new to most, if not all, of the high school-aged students in attendance.
"Changes to the lowhead dams along Buck Creek will not change the hydrology of the river but rather the hydraulics in the area of each dam," Ritter said. "While they are being modified for recreational reasons, there will be environmental benefits as well.
"This program will address the relation between hydrology and hydraulics that would have been considered during the design phase."
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 2009-10 Wittenberg Saturday Science program continues in October with a presentation by Assistant Professor of Computer Science Steven Bogaerts. The exact date will be announced soon. Presentations were made during the spring 2009 semester by Parker, Assistant Professor of Psychology Michael Anes, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Ray Dudek and Assistant Professor of Biology Michelle McWhorter.
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. For more information, e-mails can be sent to email@example.com.
Written by: Phyllis Eberts
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