2017 Research Saturday Descriptions and Sign Up

research-saturday-demo-lab-flyer.jpgResearch Saturday is an opportunity to more deeply connect and understand course material in a hands-on, collaborative lab environment. Students will also be able to engage in important research and critical thinking skills that are highly valued in science and engineering. In addition, participants will be able to talk with grad students and/or faculty over pizza (on us!), in an informal lunchtime Q&A discussion.

2017 Research Saturday labs will take place on Saturday, October 14 (one lab, Energy and Habitat Mitigation) and Saturday, October 21 (three labs, Physics, Evolution, and Computer Engineering). The location and schedule vary with each lab (see below for descriptions and lab flyers) and spots are available on a first come, first serve basis. Read more about this Fall’s Research Saturday labs and click the appropriate link to sign up!

2017 Research Saturday Demonstration Labs: To sign up, please click the “Sign up now” link after the activity that you are interested in, from below. We will then contact you a week before the Research Saturday date to provide more details.

Energy and Habitat Mitigation: October 14, 2017, 11:30am-5:30pm  in Science and Engineering Library Classroom SIGN UP HERE

Natural resources provide important goods and services, but take up land space that can be used for development to support the energy need of communities.  When natural resources are degraded, communities can lose the goods and services associated with them. In this lab, students will create an energy plan that accounts for how long it takes for resources to recover from damage and continue providing the goods and services as before, while also considering the variety of timespans for different aspects of degraded natural resources to replenish or be replaced. Students will be tasked with analyzing tradeoffs associated with keeping the resources intact or finding alternative uses for the land space they occupy.

Physics: October 21, 2017, 10:00am-4:00pm in Thimann Labs 6L/M/N SIGN UP HERE

Why are insects so small? If you doubled the size of a plane, would it still fly? Why do aquatic microorganisms swim in a different way than fish? Scaling is a powerful tool that is ubiquitous in STEM research, with applications especially in biology, physics, fluid mechanics, and engineering. Participants in this activity will tackle "real-world" engineering problems associated with scaling and use scientific reasoning to quantify the problems and propose solutions. Some background in physics is suggested (high school physics is fine), but not required.

Computer Engineering: October 21, 2017, 11:30am-6:30pm in Science and Engineering Library Classroom SIGN UP HERE

The evolution from large analog to small digital computing devices was made possible by the use of semiconducting materials.  In this lab, the physics behind these materials is explored from an engineering perspective.  Participants will use what they learn to devise a rudimentary model of the transistor and, by so doing, find the key to unlocking the backstory behind this evolution.  After participating in this activity, learners will have an operational understanding of standard electronics components and how they interact.  They will also have obtained an intuitive understanding of how these components operate at the physical level, which should assist them in achieving success in coursework that focuses on computer architecture and logic design throughout their careers.

Evolution: October 21, 2017, 10:00am-4:00pm in McHenry Library, Room 1350 SIGN UP HERE

The processes by which evolution occurs help us to understand a host of important questions and phenomena, such as how mosquitoes have evolved in response to climate change or antibiotic resistance. Students will work collaboratively to explore a complex geographical scenario and explain the interplay between species and environment. They will develop complementary expertise in data on evolutionary processes to address counterintuitive and surprising aspects of evolution.