The Allbritton Center for the Study of Public life supports engaged scholarship on and off the Wesleyan campus. We define “Engaged Scholarship” as partnerships of university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, creative activity, and public knowledge; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address and help solve critical social problems; and contribute to the public. A compendium of engaged scholarship and service by Wesleyan faculty may be found here.
The Green Street Teaching and Learning Center hosted its Girls in Science Camp this summer for girls entering grades 4-6 to explore chemistry, biology, and physics. Assistant Professor of Biology Ruth Johnson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Erika Taylor, and Assistant Professor of Physics Chris Othon supported campers to do science experiments, learn about careers in the sciences, and make and present posters at the Science Showcase!
In addition, three undergraduate students; Stacy Uchendu ’17, Anna Redgrave ’16, and Mikaela Carty ’18 assisted with the program. You can read their reflections here.
The staff was recently featured on News @ Wesleyan, excerpted below.
Taylor and Othon started the week with lessons on scientific inquiry, where campers learned about writing in a notebook, how to measure the mass, temperature and distance of objects, and how to use scientific measurements such as Fahrenheit vs. Celsius. Taylor talked to students about good and bad bacteria and had them culture bacteria from themselves and their environment – testing their hypotheses about where they would find the most and least.
Johnson led the campers on a bug hunt through Wesleyan’s West College Courtyard garden. There, the girls observed insects while considering insect diets and insect life-cycles. The girls also learned about the life-cycle of the fruit fly and set up an experiment to test the effects of feeding flies a high-sugar diet (this negatively affects the fly life-cycle, and is akin to inducing Type II Diabetes). Johnson also taught the campers about genetic variations (mutations) that affected wing and bristle development.
Othon taught the campers about states of matter and phase transitions, but instead of emphasizing the traditional states of matter, they focused on fluids, hydrogels and non-newtonian fluids (oobleck). They also looked at light as a tool and investigated the interaction of light with matter. Campers learned about photons and their properties, such as wavelength.