Students Explore Science During Summer PRISM Project
Summer means science for many students and faculty at Alma College.
Twenty-three incoming first-year students got a head start on college as they immersed themselves in science research activities July 12-16 as part of the PRISM Project, otherwise known as Positive Routes Into Science and Mathematics.
The students worked on multiple hands-on projects with faculty members, including the genetics of E. coli bacteria, the physiology of sweating and control of blood flow, matching turtle shell color to the background environment, the chemistry of caffeine, and string theory physics.
Amanda Gatlin, left, with research partners in the chemistry lab.
“The experience was really helpful,” said Amanda Gatlin, a PRISM participant from Alma who studied how caffeine interacts with different metals. “I will be doing a lot of research when I come to college, but it’s scary as a new student not knowing the professors or what to expect. Now, I feel more stable and am ready to go to college. I even made some new friends.”
Participating faculty included Maurie Luetkemeier of Exercise and Health Science; Tim Keeton, Eric Calhoun and John Rowe of Biology; Joe Beckmann of Biochemistry; Steuard Jensen of Physics; and Sean Mo and Joel Dopke of Chemistry.
Professor Joe Beckmann, with PRISM participants.
“The research activity for incoming students went very well,” said John Davis, PRISM director and EHS professor. “It set them on the right course for being a science major and for continuing research activity at Alma College. They got to know the faculty, so when the come in the fall they will have familiarity with the campus and faculty.”
As part of the PRISM Program, the first-year students will enroll in two-credit PRISM seminars in the fall or winter term.
Associate Professor Tim Keeton explains a biology experiment.
Science activity continues throughout the summer on campus. Twelve Alma students who have finished their first year are participating in a 10-week summer PRISM research experience. In addition, about 15 to 20 juniors and seniors are on campus conducting research and working with other students.
Science students and faculty at Alma this summer.
The PRISM Project strives to increase research opportunities for new college students and to get more students excited about and engaged in science research. The project is funded by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Read more.
Posted: Tue, July 20th, 2010 at 10:02AM