Saturday, March 13, 2010

What a day!

Today the COMPASS Natural Science Scholar LLC had a wonderful time at Discovery World.

Though it seemed many of the exhibits had quite a few "out of order" features that would have been cool, everyone found some cool stuff that applied to their majors.

Mike (chem major) :
-Rocks that glowed because of their chemical formuls
-an exhibit that explained how a nuclear reactor works
-a display of electron transfer compliments of a Van Degraaf machine

Matt (bio major) :
-an exhibit that displayed the entire water cycle
- assorted marine life in the Reiman Aquarium
-an exhibit that showed how microbacteria can be used to eat impurities in water

Dylan (GeoSci major) :
-an exhibit that rates coal in comparison to other forms of energy
-many fossils of assorted flora/fauna
-an interactive geological map of WI

I even found things that related to my GeoSci class!
-Bryozoa, cool creatures that live in reefs
-Cniderians, jellyfish/corals
-and stromatolites, the first non microscopic fossil to appear in the fossil record

Matt and Mike play with the big metal leafy things out front. This was nearly impossible with the hurricane force winds we felt along the lake front.
Mike, Mason, and Dylan were fascinated by the jellyfish changing colors as some employee was feeding them.
See horse.
Mason, Dylan, and I are hot, as displayed by this heat vision image...
Everyone made me go touch the Van Degraaf machine because they knew it would be hilarious. They were right.
Mason survived laying on a bed of nails.
Matt attempts to make a call in the Les Paul sound exhibit. He did not succeed, for this phone wasn't hooked up to anything.
They had these pipes that made noise when hit with a rubber mallet. Dylan, being a music whiz, started playing recognizable tunes, somehow.
Mason and Dylan fighting force at a hydraulic exhibit.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Discovery World Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the big day! Lab Rats will be heading over to Discovery World to explore the awesome exhibits and learn all about science and research which is what the Lab Rats LLC is all about. We'll also be going with the Compass Scholars LLC--fellow science lovers.

I've come up with a few goals for the trip that include some specific exhibits:

1) Lab Rats who view and participate in the "Energy and Ingenuity" exhibit will be able to identify at least three different modern advances in energy conservation techniques.

2) Lab Rats who participate in the "Great Lakes Future" exhibit will learn about the ecology and organisms in Lake Michigan.

3) Lab Rats who complete the "Techno Jungle" exhibit will be able to identify at least three recent inventions or technological innovations.

After each exhibit we'll take a few minutes to discuss the exhibit and talk about the cool things we learn! I'm super pumped for all fun science tomorrow--much better than sitting in a chemistry lecture!

~Anne-Marie Cooper

Friday, March 5, 2010

Exploring Energy

These days everyone hears about "going green." Whether by recycling, turning off lights, or driving an electric car, everyone has ideas for different ways we can save the earth and conserve energy.

However, how much do we actually know about the science behind things like alternative energy sources and how much do we really understand the impact our actions make on the earth? Discovery World features an exhibit specifically to answer these questions (which is one reason I'm so excited to visit Discovery World with my LLC on March 13th!).

The exhibit at Discovery World is titled "Energy and Ingenuity" and takes visitors through a stimulating experience which will both awe and inspire visitors to really consider "going green." One of the most impressive parts of the exhibit features a nuclear reactor where visitors can control the power of a miniature city. Another section allows visitors to enter a "human hamster wheel" and truly experience how much energy it takes to power lights.

If you're interested in the science behind energy conservation and renewable resources check out Discovery World's exhibit for more info. I know I'm pumped to check it out!
Lab Rats LLC

Field trip!

On Saturday March 13, the Compass LLC will be taking a science themed field trip.

Here's a brief idea of what we'll be doing.

If you clicked that link, you obviously know I'm kidding.
Though next Saturday I'll totally answer to Ms. Frizzle if anyone calls me that.

What we WILL be doing, is going to Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin, located on the lake front right next to the art museum.
Never heard of it? Here's their
website. It's a really cool place.

So they have a plethora of exhibits that will no doubt appeal to the variety of majors that make up the Compass Program.
I don't think I ever explained that to you all.
The Compass program is a scholarship, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, provided to a number of current first year students who are pursuing majors in the natural sciences. This means their concentrations include Geo Sciences, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, or Mathematics. As long as they keep their grades at a certain level, and continue to work towards a degree in this area, their scholarship is renewed.


I drafted up some measurable goals for the trip:

1.Compass LLC residents who attend the field trip to Discovery World will be able to view and participate in at least 6 hands on exhibits that relate to all realms of natural science as demonstrated by our field trip to Discovery World.

2.Compass LLC residents who come to Discovery world will be able to name 3 things they saw that related to their majors as demonstrated by the evaluations I'll have them do upon our arrival back to campus.

So, yeah. That's all I have for you now.

Pictures and a full report to be posted when we get back!


-Carly Danger Wilson