2014 CVSS Workshops

AS A MATTER OF FACT, IT IS ROCKET SCIENCE (Dr. Brian Birgen, Dr. Ben Bousquet, and Dr. John Zelle)
The iterative process of building, testing, and refining models is essential to science in the 21st Century. Modeling real-world systems often requires the use of tools and techniques from a variety of disciplines, even in the case of a seemingly simple phenomenon. Participants will work with low-power model rockets and attempt to model their behavior using computational techniques. Development of mathematical models will incorporate both the underlying physics principles and data obtained from physical measurements. Flight and trajectory predictions derived from these models will be compared to experimental results. This workshop is recommended for students interested in mathematics, computer science, physics, and/or engineering.

BRAINS AND BEHAVIOR: AN INTRODUCTION TO NEUROSCIENCE  (Dr. Samantha Larimer Bousquet)
The field of neuroscience asks questions at multiple different levels.  In this workshop students will examine brain anatomy both at the systems level (dissecting a sheep brain) and at a tissue/cellular level (staining and mounting rodent brain slices).  Participants will also design and carry out an experiment to ask a behavioral question using hamsters as a model organism.

COOL BIOLOGY! HOW DOES NATURE HANDLE WINTER? (Dr. David McCullough and Dr. Eric Merten)
Winter in temperate and polar regions tends to be rough on the inhabitants. How do organisms handle this climatic extreme? This and other questions will be examined in an investigative fashion in both the laboratory and the field. Dress warmly and come prepared to learn about what survives in the icy and snowy conditions of the Iowa landscape.

CSI-CVSS  (Dr. Jennifer Maxwell and Ms. Christine Elliott)
A person has been found dead in Waverly but what was the cause of death?  Was the person murdered?  Be the sleuth and figure it out.  All participants will view the death scene, collect information, and then use the Biology Department’s equipment and greenhouse to analyze the data.  Students will have to identify organisms and other materials found at the crime scene, research their potential influence on the outcome, and present their findings to the rest of the group.

DETECTION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE ORGANISMS BY MOLECULAR METHODS (Dr. Roy M. Ventullo and Dr. Stephanie Toering Peters)
The sensitivity and specificity associated with the use of molecular assays has greatly improved the field of infectious disease detection by providing clinicians with results that are both accurate and rapidly obtained.  Participants will use Biolog's latest generation redox chemistry (96 biochemical reactions in a single plate format) and the Biolog Microbial ID system to identify species of Staphylococcus bacteria. Participants will isolate and purify DNA from the same cells and use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays to confirm the identity as well as antibiotic resistance of the Staphylococcus isolates.

HOW ENGINEERS HELP THE WORLD (Dr. LeAnn Faidley)
Engineers put knowledge of math and science to use in the creation of products and processes that solve the world’s problems.  In this workshop students will learn about a variety of engineering disciplines as they work with a team to design devices to perform specific tasks.

MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF NUCLEIC ACIDS  (Dr. J. Keith McClung)
Students will learn about the applications of molecular biology and how DNA manipulations are carried out and used to study problems in biology and serve society as well.  Students will experiment with methods used to analyze DNA with restriction enzymes and perform DNA fingerprint analysis.  Students will also learn about the role of pedigree analysis and genetic markers in disease detection.

MR. JOHNSON’S WORKOUT (Dr. Ed Westen)
Problem-Based Learning (PBL) approaches are becoming increasingly prevalent in medical education.  This workshop will present an example of a medical school PBL entitled “Mr. Johnson’s Workout.”  Participants will be presented with a patient’s history and physical exam results.  From there, they will use available resources, each other, and a continuing interaction with the group leader to diagnose the patient’s illness.  Participation in this workshop will provide an appreciation for the problem-solving endeavor that is medicine as well as give students their first experience with PBL.

THE CHICKEN AND THE EGG (Dr. Mike Bechtel)
Iowa is known for two interwoven industries that support the nation and the world: agriculture and food. Students will study facets of the poultry industry from egg through hatching to processing. They will work with eggs, newly hatched chicks, and adult poultry (Gallus gallus domesticus). This workshop will provide an overview of interconnected themes dealing with genetics, chemistry, physics, zoology, and economics.

THE CLINICAL LABORATORY: A VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE (Theresa R. Fruehling, MLS (ASCP))
What happens to a person’s blood after it has been drawn?  This workshop takes participants into the world of results, the other side of what one sees.  Help to diagnose patients and help with their care.  Solve the mysteries that lie beyond the Doctor’s office or ER.  Looking for a challenge, a mystery, or just a new perspective?  Come check out the view from the “other side.”

THE MAGNIFICENT (AND FLAWED) NATURE OF HUMAN THOUGHT PROCESSES: EXPLORATIONS IN COGNITIVE AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY (Dr. Cynthia Bane and Dr. Andrea Eslick)
Psychology explores the connection between human behavior and mental processes. Activities and discussions will show students how to stretch their own capacity for learning and how to avoid flaws in memory. Through interactive demonstrations, students will also learn about the thought processes that occur when forming impressions of others and when thinking about themselves.