All Things Science: Stetson’s Science Saturdays

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DELAND, Fla., Feb. 11, 2014 –Sandhill Ecosystem, Physics Extravaganza, Sustainability all at Stetson’s Gillespie Museum  At Stetson University’s Science Saturday, Saturday, Feb. 22, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., the Gillespie Museum will offer two hands-on workshops in one morning:  Save a Sandhill Ecosystem and a Physics Extravaganza.

On the museum grounds, young scientists will learn about longleaf pine forests and work with environmental science students in the museum’s Volusia Sandhill Ecosystem restoration. Activities will include seeding and planting; art projects using natural materials from the sandhill habitat; and teaching stations on the basics of seed dispersal and pollination.

“Whether planting wiregrass or crafting with longleaf pine cones, visitors will learn by doing, and come away with a deeper appreciation for the native longleaf landscape that once dominated the sandy highlands of Volusia County,” said Cindy Bennington, Ph.D., professor of biology.

Visitors can also take part in a Physics Extravaganza, staged in Stetson’s Sage Science Center at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., by the Stetson chapter of the Society of Physics Students. Experiments will include a standing-wave flame tube, demonstrating the wavelengths of sounds; Magdeburg Hemisphere vacuum tug-of-war; and some of the dazzling effects of liquid nitrogen. (Pictured: Zach Rosson and Kameron Calabro, demonstrate the properties of liquid nitrogen.)

“Science can be both fun and educational,” said Kevin Riggs, Ph.D., professor of Physics at Stetson, and faculty advisor.

Once a month during the academic year, the Gillespie Museum (located on the southeast corner of the DeLand campus, at 234 East Michigan Ave.) offers Science Saturday programs, which allow young scientists to learn important principles and current practice from Stetson faculty and undergraduates, in a range of disciplines.

On March 15, the topic will be Neuroscience, to coincide with Brain Awareness Week (a global campaign sponsored by the Society for Neuroscience and the Dana Alliance).

On April 12, the Museum will host Stetson’s Environmental Coalition in a morning of earth-friendly workshops, activities, food, and music to kick off the university’s annual Earth Week celebration.

These events are free and open to the public. Children under 16 attending Science Saturdays must be accompanied by an adult.

Science Café at Gillespie Museum: Sustainability – Tony Abbott, Ph.D., associate professor of geography and environmental science at Stetson University, will open the spring 2014 series of Science Cafés at the Gillespie Museum on Thursday, Feb. 20, 7-8:30 p.m.

In answering the title’s question, “What is Sustainability,” Abbott will discuss the origin of the termsustainabiliy, its roots in scientific conservation, and current trends in resilience thinking for environmental challenges.

“Though the term seems self-evident,” explains Abbott, “it turns out that historically ‘sustainability’ has meant different things to different people.”

An international movement, Science Cafés  promote scientific literacy by encouraging relaxed, open conversations among scientists and nonscientists of all ages.

“Our spring series provides a showcase of Stetson faculty research and engagement with sustainable ecosystems and sustainable communities,” said Museum Director Karen Cole, Ph.D. Other topics in the series include:

  • “Mapping Our Relationship to the Sea” (March 20, Barbara Bischoff, Geography & Environmental Science)
  • “Touring a Makerspace: A Visit to Stetson’s Innovation House” (April 10, Bill Ball, Political Science)
  • “How Do We Meet Global Demands for Water” (April 22, Harry Price, Chemistry).

This Feb. 20 event, free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by Stetson’s Department of Geography and Environmental Science.

For more information, as well as other Gillespie Museum events, call the museum at 386.822.7330 or Cultural credit is available to Stetson undergraduates.

Founded in 1883, Stetson University in Central Florida is an independent university that provides a transforming education in the liberal arts tradition. Stetson stresses academic excellence and community-engaged learning, and consistently earns high national rankings. In 1982, Stetson was awarded a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honorary society. The College of Arts & Sciences, School of Business Administration and School of Music are located at the historic campus in DeLand. The College of Law is in Gulfport/St. Petersburg. The university also has two satellite centers: the Tampa Law Center and the Stetson University Center at Celebration near Orlando. More information: University Marketing, 386-822-8920Stay Connected with Stetson on social media.



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