STEM Seminar Spring 2022 - Class Activities

Mon May 2 - The Final Conference, 2:00-4:30

Fri Apr 22 - Focus Group
Dr. Amy Germuth and Dr. Jennifer McGee

Fri Apr 15 - Easter Holiday

Fri Apr 8 - Guest Speaker
Dr. Sayan Cahndra, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Appstate
Optically Engineered Multifunctional Materials for Thermal Camouflage; From Concept to Device
Abstract - With advancements in infrared detection technology, there is a need for fast, switchable infrared camouflage. In this talk I will present a unique solution to achieve adaptive infrared camouflage that can be tuned to operate at a desired wavelength. Our results show a roadmap to create designer surfaces to store and camouflage multispectral infrared information.

Fri Apr 1 - Guest Speaker
Dr. Andy Heckert, Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences, Appstate
Tiny Triassic fossils from around the world and what they say about big topics in evolution
The Triassic period (251-200 million years ago) was bookended by mass extinctions and also includes some of the oldest records of major tetrapod groups, including dinosaurs, pterosaurs, mammals, frogs, lizards, and others. Big evolutionary questions, such as why did dinosaurs succeed when mammals did not, can only be answered by looking at tiny fossils, called microvertebrates. Because the modern continents were all connected in the supercontinent of Pangea, it is possible to find fossils of similar animals in different places around the world. Dr. Heckert has studied Triassic fossils from around the world, including conducting Triassic fieldwork in North and South America and Africa and will talk about what these fossils can tell us.

Fri Mar 25 - Guest Speaker
Dr. Eduardo G. de Campos, Department of Chemistry, Appstate
Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology of Novel Psychoactive Substances
Summary: Novel psychoactive substances (NPS) are drugs that recently have become available in the illicit drug market and that are not controlled at national and international levels. Although some drugs may be completely new, some of them are known but have not been detected in forensic casework. However, the emergence of these drugs pose public health and safety challenges and can be harmful to any individual exposed to them. In this presentation, Dr. Eduardo de Campos will discuss the importance of monitoring these drugs in forensic cases and the analytical challenges associated with the investigation of NPS in seized drugs and biological specimens.

Fri Mar 18 - Guest Speaker
Dr. Sarah Greenwald, ASU Mathematical Sciences
Mathematics and Society Scholarship: AWM, The Simpsons and Futurama
Faculty engaging in research at the intersection of mathematics and society are interested in questions of how mathematics impacts society and how society impacts mathematics. The Association for Women in Mathematics was founded in 1971 and is still vital today. The animated shows The Simpsons and Futurama contain hundreds of mathematical and scientific references. We'll examine recent scholarship and plans for the future, including a soon-to-be-published Springer book, plenary and keynote talks at conferences, articles and more.

Fri Mar 11 - Spring Break

Fri Mar 4 - Guest Speaker
Dr. Maryam Ahmed, Department of Biology, Appstate
Title of talk: Biotechnology: How Viruses Can be Used for Good.
Viruses have not had the best public image, especially in recent years, but there is a lot to admire about them. Advances in genetics, and cellular and molecular biology have significantly forwarded our understanding of viruses. In addition, their talent as cellular hijackers makes them extremely valuable as tools for various biotechnology applications. In this presentation, Dr. Ahmed will introduce students to advances in virus biotechnology and will discuss her research which is focused on developing viruses as anti-cancer agents. Fri Feb 25 - Leadership Workshop
Dr. Jim Street
Problem Solving Exercise - Students had to work as a team to solve a problem. In the discussion that followed they identified these critical components of teamwork - clear communication, fluid leadership, and creativity.

Fri Feb 18 - Guest Speaker
Jim Dees, Data and Assessment Specialist, Office of Sustainability, Appstate
Sustainability at Appalachian
The pioneering spirit necessary to overcome the hardships of mountain life at the turn of the 18th century quickly characterized our institution, positioning App State early on as a leader in sustainability in higher education. As active stewards of our state’s interconnected financial, cultural and natural resources, we challenge one another to think critically and creatively about sustainability and what it means from the smallest individual action to the most broad-based applications.

Fri Feb 11 - Leadership Workshop
Dr. Jim Street
The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership - In the following class, we discussed the work of Barry Posner and Jim Kouzes, whose research identified the behaviors associated with exemplary leadership

Fri Feb 4 - Guest Speaker
Dr. Tonya Coffey, Appstate Physics and Astronomy
Smashing Pumpkins
Exploding pumpkins with rubber bands remains a popular demonstration of the conversion of spring potential energy into kinetic energy. Videos of laughing and squealing children and adults being pelted with pumpkin fragments have millions of hits on Youtube1, and the demo has even been featured on talk shows like The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.2 This light-hearted activity is an excellent demonstration of multiple concepts in physics and engineering. In this talk, we examine and analyze a large data set collected by Jon Orr, a Canadian high school math teacher who authored a Desmos activity on learning scatter plots using this fun demo. We use this analysis to explain how the number of rubber bands required to rupture a pumpkin depends primarily on the effective spring constant of the rubber band and the thickness of the pumpkin wall. We hope to provide inspiration for teachers using this demo to teach STEM concepts in the classroom.

Fri Jan 28 - Dr. Jim Street
Leadership Workshop -
What defines effective leadership? On small groups, the students identifies what they believe to be indicators of effective leadership

Fri Jan 21 - Sharing an Experience
Suzanne Dysard, Appstate CS Major Class of 1992
"Lots of Hard Work and a Little Bit of Luck Enabled Me to Retire at Age 50 in Colorado"

As my LinkedIn profile now says, I'm a "Problem solver. Organizer. Leader. Advocate for things that matter.
- Many years of experience with the sales process from both a business and technical perspective
- Expertise in managing projects both in the professional and volunteer arenas
- Passionate about finding the best solutions for the business users I support"

Fri Jan 14 - Getting the Semester started
Welcome Back!
Plan for the semester
Building the teams

Study Halls
Danny Avila manages all the Study Halls
Dr. Tashakkori - How is your shinny rock doing?