Wilkes University

STEM Discovery Day

STEM Discovery Day

Want to try your hand at wizardry? Explore naturally occurring beauty? Learn about plants that eat bugs? Test your science knowledge during a round of Jeopardy?

Get the full, hands-on experience at STEM Discovery Day

Wilkes University invites students in grades 4 through 8 to join Wilkes faculty, staff and students in interactive laboratory activities and observing demonstrations in the Stark Learning Center and the Cohen Science Center. During various labs, students will uncover the fun of chemistry, biology, environmental engineering, earth and environmental sciences, anatomy and physiology, mathematics, computer science and physics.

Parking is available behind the Henry Student Center. Please follow on-campus signage to arrive at Stark Learning Center Main Entrance for registration.View the Wilkes University campus map. Space is limited. Registration will remain open until all seats are filled.

Registration is closed.

Questions? For more information, please call Connie Dombroski, Director, Center for Health Sciences and Student Success, at 570-408-4823 or email constance.dombroski@wilkes.edu

Workshops include:

Science Jeopardy

Test your science knowledge in an informal and fun game where everyone is a winner. Questions cover all levels of science from elementary school concepts to college-level information.

Soil Texture Analysis

Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences

This lab demonstrates that soil texture is a fundamental property that reveals many other properties, including water holding capacity and load bearing capacity. Students will participate in an activity to measure the soil texture using the USDA Texture by Feel analysis and a simplified soil settling analysis to compare the textures of different soils.

Water Treatment using the Jar Test

Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences
This lab demonstrates a variety of water sources that are used to create drinking water and how they differ in their composition. Jar tests are used to clean water to be used as drinking water. Students will observe a jar test and hear a brief discussion of how the coagulation and flocculation process works to better understand how drinking water may be cleaned.

Fractals: Where Math, Nature, and Art Meet

Mathematics and Computer Science
Mathematicians describe a fractal as an abstract object with a never-ending pattern that repeats itself at different scales. Fractals make the most beautiful and most bizarre geometric shapes that you can meet not just in mathematics, but in nature too: fractal patterns are extremely familiar, since nature is full of fractals! Students will talk about fractals in math and nature, and have some fun creating their own fractals.

Identifying and Preserving Plants

Pennsylvania is home to over 3,400 plant species, including wildflowers, ferns, shrubs, vines and trees. The Rosenthal Herbarium in the Cohen Science Center is Wilkes University’s plant collection. In this display, visitors will identify unknown plants using a simple taxonomic key. They will then see how plants are preserved by the centuries-old technique called pressing, and will be able to make a simple herbarium sample from pressed leaf specimens.

Fun with Plants that Move and Eat Bugs

Plants usually get all the nutrients they need from the soil and atmosphere, but sometimes that just isn’t enough. In this lab we will explore how plants can get the nutrients they need by eating bugs. We’ll also explore how plants can move, and how plants catch light and use it to convert carbon dioxide into more plant material.

Research with Invertebrate Animals

This laboratory will perform short experiments with planarians, flatworms that can regenerate lost body parts, to study repair of the central nervous system, regeneration and Alzheimer's disease. The laboratory will also introduce the concept of "Chemical Ecology," pheromones using termites, and how scorpion venom is used to treat brain cancer.

Addressing Future Energy Challenges

Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences
This lab demonstrates some of the tools and methods that are used to increase energy efficiency in the home and the workplace. Renewable energy applications will also be shown.

Wizards of Physics

In the famous words of Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Our world is full of all sorts of exciting yet complicated things that almost seem magical. In physics, we strive to understand and master the fundamental forces that give rise to all of this magic. From that perspective, the Gandalfs and Harry Potters of our world are the physicists! In this laboratory students will have some fun by wielding our powers of gravity, electricity and magnetism.