April 29, 2011
From: Laura J. Woodard, Director of Media Relations
Science behind Japanese earthquake at Scholar's Academy May 7
Monroe City School District parents and students have a chance to see the science behind the post-earthquake atomic crisis in Japan at the Monroe City Scholars' Saturday Academy, "Totally Rad(iation)!"
The free Academy will be held from 9 – noon on Saturday, May 7, in the ULM Museum of Natural History.
The intended audience is middle school students, but anyone who is interested may come.
"Students were asking so many questions about the impact of the damaged nuclear reactor in Japan, that we decided to shift the focus of the Academy," said ULM Chemistry Instructor Dr. Laura Beal.
Beal said students will use Geiger counters to measure radiation, work with M&Ms to model radioactive decay and talk about the ways in which radiation might travel to Monroe from a place as distant as Japan.
A guest who worked with the International Atomic Energy Agency Iraq Action Teams will also speak to students.
The May 7 Academy also provides students a sneak peak at the Monroe City Scholars' summer science camps.
The day includes tours of dorm rooms and meeting the counselors for the two residential camps: The Nature of Science (June 12-18); and Adventures in Slime (June 19-25).
Each summer camp focuses on a different scientific discipline and the careers that relate to that area.
For example, in the Nature of Science summer camp, campers will explore local natural resources through hands-on investigations in Biology, Earth Sciences and Environmental Science.
Each morning, campers participate in high-interest explorations that help them see the science in different careers.
In the afternoon campers work with Biology, Earth Sciences or Chemistry faculty in laboratories and at the museum to conduct real-world, inquiry-based investigations.
The second camp, Adventures in Slime, takes campers out into the community to see how slime (or polymers) can be a pathway to careers at such local industries as Angus Chemical, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical; Poly Processing Company; the paper mill; and G2G: Gas to Green.
Through high-interest investigations in Chemistry, Biology and the Atmospheric Sciences, campers examine the science behind careers at a different job site each morning, and then move into a college laboratory to work with Science faculty members.
Monroe City Scholars is a collaborative project between Monroe City's Gear-Up Grant initiative and ULM.
"One of Monroe City School District's initiatives toward our goal to become a world class school district is to offer tuition-free enrichment summer school opportunities for students and teachers," said Monroe City School Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Harris.
"This collaboration is one tangible product of our 'Tracking World Class' goals and of our long and cherished relationship with ULM," said Harris.
In addition to the science activities, campers will enjoy activities at the ULM Recreation Center, swimming at the Natatorium and canoeing on the Bayou, as well as exploring the arts and literature in the evening.
At the end of the week, students will present what they have learned during an Awards Banquet in the ULM Library followed by a "campers-only" dance in the Student Union Building.
Full scholarships to qualified students will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and require a completed application packet.
To get started, visit the Monroe City Scholars Web site at www.ulm.edu/dream/monroecityscholars.html and fill out an "I am interested" form.
The application packet may be downloaded at the website or requested from the school.
Space is limited, and no applications will be accepted after May 16.
For more information contact the DREAM office in the College of Education and Human Development at 318-342-1250.
Photo of Kathleen Harris courtesy Monroe City Schools