Glow sticks, coral reefs, bones, and bugs highlight Lunch with an IPFW Scientist season

Tusky, IPFW logo.

News release from IPFW:

Glow Sticks, Coral Reefs, Bones, and Bugs Highlight 2011-12 Lunch with an IPFW Scientist Season at Science Central

(August 23, 2011) – Parents: here’s a great way to get your kids off the couch and away from computer or video games. Take your kids to Lunch with an IPFW Scientist at Science Central on the second Saturday of the month, beginning October 8 and let them be dazzled by science! All sessions are at Science Central, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at a cost of $16 for nonmembers and $10 for members of Science Central. Lunch is included in the price of admission.


2011-12 Program Schedule


October 8: Michael Columbia, associate professor of chemistry, “Let There Be Light—The Chemistry of Glow Sticks and Fireflies.”

Have you ever wondered how fireflies can light up the night sky or what makes a glow stick glow? Both can produce light, not by using electricity, but as a byproduct of a chemical reaction. In this presentation, the young scientists will look more in depth at the chemical reactions that can generate light and perform some chemical reactions on their own that will generate light of different colors.


November 12: Mark Masters, chair and professor of physics, “Should We Be Afraid?”

This session will explore not only the interesting facts about nuclear energy, but also address the fictions the public so often hears. Participants will have the opportunity to see how half-life works through a fun activity that tests just how fast a radioactive isotope can decay.


December 10: Jordan Marshall, assistant professor of biology, “Where Do Bugs Go in Winter?”

This session will involve students exploring where and how insects live over the winter. Marshall will describe the different ways insects deal with cold temperatures. Students can then look for over-wintering insects in samples of seeds, fruits, sticks, logs, and soil.


January 14: James Haddock, associate professor of biology, “Coral Reefs: Nature’s Bountiful and Fragile Paradise!”

In this session, participants will study the organisms that live in coral reefs and their interactions with the reef itself. Along the way, they will talk about how reefs are made and how they change over time. They will discuss coral reef zonation and end up with how man has affected coral reefs.


February 11: Matthew Walsh, associate professor of mathematics, “The Mathematics of Codes.”

When sending a message—on a CD recording, over the Internet, even from a satellite in space—all kinds of things can go wrong. Participants will look at two possible problems and discover how math can be used to solve them, how to make sure that only the recipient can read the message, and how to protect against the message getting garbled along the way.


March 10: Mohammad Alhassan, assistant professor of civil engineering, “How to Make Good Concrete.”

Alhassan will give a brief introduction about civil engineering and its major areas. Then he’ll teach participants how to make strong and durable concrete while discussing the key elements that make good concrete. After that, various mixes of concrete will be given to the participants who will choose the best mix based on the information they’ve just learned. The young scientists will also have the opportunity to make concrete in the lab and smash a very strong concrete specimen using a digitally controlled testing machine.


April 14: Amanda Brown, clinical assistant professor of radiography, “Name that Bone.”

Brown will present images of x-rays and ask participants try to name the bone or type of x-ray. She’ll have actual bones for the
participants to touch along with some other items that radiographers use on a daily basis.


May 12: Dong Chen, assistant professor of engineering, “Water and Wastewater Treatment—Yesterday and Today”

Chen will address the historical development of drinking water and wastewater treatment technologies. A demonstration of water treatment process will be performed during the presentation.


For more information on the series, visit or call Kathy Larsen, Science Central special programs manager, at 260-424-2400, ext. 427. For reservations, call ext. 451.


Related Images:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here