Session descriptions

We have lots to offer in this year's STEM Day---check out the listing below for all of our 2018 session descriptions.


Title Topic Description Location
Time Jumpers: Archaeological Lab Experience Anthropology In this workshop, students will learn how archaeologists collect and analyze data when learning about past cultures — even the people who lived in Detroit before we did. Students will create a map and learn why context is just as important as the artifacts we study, along with the way stratigraphy works. Then, they can try to reconstruct an object from the fragments we have excavated. Old Main, 1220
Wonders of the Universe Astronomy Have you ever looked up at the stars and wondered how far away they are, or which ones make up different constellations? Join us in the planetarium to learn the answers to these questions and more as we explore the universe together. In addition, try your hand at some of the tools astronomers use to understand the universe, such as spectral analysis. Old Main, Planetarium
Geonomics and Bioinformatics from Biomedicine to Biodiversity Biology Students will explore the GenBank databank and genome browsers such as NCBI, Ensembl and UCSC. A focus will be on looking at genes in a human genome and identifying the mutations of genes associated with diseases. State Hall, 313
Brain Plasticity Biology Students will explore their brain plasticity by reversibly altering their visual perception. They will analyze their visual accuracy before, during and after shifting their visual world with prism goggles. STEM Commons
My Genes Made Me Do It Biology Participants will learn how behavior is controlled by genes and the environment. They will use the C. elegans model organism to explore how genes determine what the animal can smell and how this sense of smell causes the animal to go toward good food or be repelled by bad food. Students also will distinguish between C. elegans that are wild type (normal) versus mutant for the smelling of specific food odors. Science Hall, 2046
Epigenome: The Extra Layer of Genetic Information Biology Students will use model building to explore how both genetic and epigenetic variation control chromosome activity and heredity. State Hall, 426
You Light Up My Life: Bioluminescent Bacteria and Anglerfish Biology Students will observe bioluminescent bacteria and learn about bacterial symbiosis with anglerfish. Science Hall, 2025/Science Hall 2003
CSI in the Wild Biology Field biologists aren't always able to observe animals directly. Sometimes they have to use clues that the animals leave behind. Students will work as a team to solve a mystery involving animal clues. Biological Science Museum
Determining Species' Ages Biology Participants will use structural information, sequence information and computational tools to determine the ages of different species including flour beetles, chimpanzees and humans. State Hall, 308
Epidemic! Biology Students will build a model virus and learn how viruses infect and spread to cause diseases. STEM Commons
What the buzz? Using fruit flies to explore reversible paralysis. Biology Concepts presented are heterozygosity and recessiveness, temperature sensitive protein function and model organisms. Science Hall, 2038
Crash Test Dummies Biomedical Engineering Visit our crash test dummy site to learn more about the tools that researchers use to help keep us safe. In this high-impact workshop, we'll explore equipment that's used to test responses to everything from high-speed crashes to blast waves. Foyer of Bioengineerng Building
Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics is an integral part of the physical world. From solar cells to coking, phase transitions even control how quickly and smoothly ice cream crystals are formed - instantaneous and delicious. Engineering Building, Hall of Fame room
Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Chemistry No cranking… no ice and rock salt mixtures…just a little liquid nitrogen (-320°F), some creamy ingredients, and an appetite for exploring the science of food. State Hall, 113
Unicorn Slime: The Chemistry of Polymers Chemistry Polymers make up much of our world, from basketballs to potatoes. Students will use common household items to create a polymer of their own: slime! Schapp Chemistry Lobby
Acids and Bases Chemistry (C2 Pipeline) Learn about acids and bases while performing two fun activities. Student will turn water into blood and write a secret message in invisible ink. Life Sciences, 133
Intro to Chemistry Chemistry (C2 Pipeline) Students will gain an understanding of the process of evaporation and condensation, the solid liquid and gas phases, and the concepts of atoms and molecules. State Hall, 212
Volcano Building Chemistry (C2 Pipeline) Students will learn how to create an explosive volcano. State Hall, 216
Future Transportation Technologies Civil Engineering The Wayne State University Transportation Research Group will present an interactive look at current and future transportation technologies and how engineers are preparing for the upcoming generation of connected and autonomous vehicles. Engineering Auditorium, 1507
Clinical Laboratory Scientists—Diagnostic Detectives Clinical Laboratory Sciences In this hands-on session, students will learn about the role of clinical laboratory scientists in health care. State Hall, 431
Brain, Tongue, Ear, Throat and More: Speech and Hearing Science Careers Communication Science Disorders This hands-on session provides a brief overview on the sciences of speech language, hearing, balance and swallowing. We will also discuss careers in diagnosing and treating communication impairments. State Hall, 328
Cyber Security Practice Computer Science This session provides hand-on experience with security software and network systems in a live laboratory environment, with the purpose of understanding real-world threats. It will focus on attacks such as password cracking and network package eavesdropping, and introduce defenses. State Hall, 314
Filmmaking, Science and Engineering Computer Science Do you like animation or special effects? Your favorite film techniques wouldn't be possible without science and engineering. In this session, we will use online resources (with a focus on Khan Academy and videos it accesses through YouTube) to share how computers represent a world for artistic and scientific purposes. Engineering Computer Lab, 2359
3-D Computer Graphics and Virtual Reality Computer Science In this workshop, students will learn new techniques for computing and interacting using 3-D surface and volume meshes of objects. Students will see a demonstration of real-time 3-D/4-D modeling for complex indoor scenes using a Kinect. Students will also get to use a HoloLens for a 3-D virtual reality demonstration. Macabees, 3104.5 (3rd floor)
Coding 101 Computer Science In this fun, interactive workshop presented by the organization Sister Code, participants will be introduced to computer science as they learn the basics of creating code. Education, 189
Code Maze Mayhem Computer Science Students will participate in interactive maze design challenges using a Sphero-based creation using creativity and teamwork. Sphero is a spherical robot wrapped in polycarbonate plastic that is controlled by a tablet. In this challenge, students will code the Sphero to navigate an original maze built by you or the class. STEM Commons
Do You See What I See? Criminal Justice What we think we see isn't always what we did see. This will provide a brief overview of mistaken eyewitness testimony and how it can contribute to a wrongful conviction. Students will participate in a game that will illustrate how common it is to make honest mistakes as an eyewitness. Old Main, 137
Radio Science Lab Electrical Engineering To pique students' interest in wireless technology, we will show how electronic items can talk to each other in an "invisible" manner. Engineering, Lab 3335
A Tractor Beam using the Marangoni Effect
(previously titled Things in Slow Motion)
Electrical Engineering We will demonstrate a tractor beam, which can move around droplets of oil with light thanks to a phenomenon called the Marangoni effect. Participants will do a simple experiment and have the opportunity to use our tractor beam to transfer objects. Engineering, 3322
STEM Jeopardy Engineering Students will participate in a team competition of Jeopardy. Through this interactive activity, students will learn about the different levels of education needed for STEM occupations as well as the diverse variety of careers in engineering and related fields. Students will walk away confident with the information that they have gained in regard to higher education expectations in STEM fields. Engineering, 1520
Let's Build Towers Engineering (C2 Pipeline) In this hands-on workshop, students will learn the basics of structure and material engineering while participating in a challenge to build the tallest tower from the limited materials provided. State Hall, 214
Inhale, Exhale: Let's Build Lungs Engineering/Health (C2Pipeline) Students will explore the inhalation and exhalation process by creating fake lungs. State Hall, 215
Exposing Your Pic: Photography Exposure Engineering Technology (C2 Pipeline) The session will teach the learner how to achieve proper exposure in different lighting scenarios using professional DSLR cameras. Learners will understand how lighting affects the camera subject as well as how to adjust depending on available light. State Hall, 231
How Do We Get Clean Drinking Water? Environmental Engineering Clean water supply is critical to human health. Source water (lakes, rivers and swamps) often contains impurities, bacteria and other microbiological organisms that make it unsafe to drink. Consequently, most source waters must be cleaned before they can be consumed by people. This session will demonstrate the procedures used in municipal water plants to purify water for drinking and illustrate why water conservation is important. Engineering, Lab 2327
The Beauty and Mystery of Minerals Environmental Science/Geology This session offers an introduction to the geology department's new Mineral Museum. In addition to viewing more than 300 specimens, students will participate in activities that demonstrate the physical and optical properties of minerals. Fluorescent minerals and meteorites also will be studied. Old Main, Geology Lab
Liquid or Solid: Exploring Complex Physical Behavior of Rocks Geology Rocks display a wide range of physical behaviors depending on the conditions under which they are deformed. This activity will explore how conditions such as the rate of deformation and temperature during deformation control how a rock responds to stress. Students will experiment by mixing their own non-Newtonian fluid and conducting various physical tests. Old Main, 0319
Smooth Health Moves Health (C2 Pipeline) Students will learn how to make delicious and nutritious smoothies using fruits and vegetables. State Hall, 229
Your Brain on Sugar Kinesiology We will discuss how sugar affects our brains and why it is so addictive while revealing the amount of sugar in different foods and drinks and providing a tasting of a "no sugar" dessert. Participants will learn different terms for sugar hidden in ingredient labels and understand how to measure the amount of sugar in a product by looking at the nutrition label. State Hall, 025
Sports Medicine Concepts in the Athletics Training Profession Kinesiology Through a dynamic presentation exploring injury prevention, emergency care and rehabilitation, students will gain exposure to the athletic training profession. State Hall, 323
Youth Empowerment: Solving Community Health Programs through Grassroots Efforts Kinesiology Our presentation will briefly introduce students to the study of community health and an innovative, technological approach to identifying, understanding and intervening on community-based, health issues. Students will engage in a short scripted walk around campus where they will complete a photovoice activity and a corresponding activity sheet. Education, 149
Got Code? A Hands-On Intro to Coding Apps Learning, Design and Technology This hands-on activity will walk participants through an introduction to coding. Participants will also have an opportunity to explore coding applications and will leave with a list of free coding programs they can download on their own computer or mobile devices to continue their exploration of coding. Education, 171
Smartphones and Learning Technologies Learning, Design and Technology The participants will learn about how Learning Design and Technology can help them achieve their academic and professional goals. The participants will engage in some learning activities by using polling questions, mobile apps, links, and videos to build an understanding of the new educational trends with the advancements in technology. The participants will leave the event with other resources that will keep them encouraged to learn more about how LDT is applied in different fields. State Hall, 317
Web 2.0 Apps to Ace Learning, Design and Technology This workshop will demonstrate four interactive technologies (Jeopardylab, Quizlet, Quiz Revolution, and StudyBlue) that will help prepare you for upcoming exams. You will have access to these technology applications so that you can continue creating study test materials to fit your needs. Soon your friends will want to know the secret to acing tests! Education, 169
Everything You've Always Wanted to Know About π Mathematics Pi is one of the most important numbers in mathematics. What is pi? How do we really know its value and properties? And why is it so critical? In this session, we will review various definitions of pi, show how to calculate it to whatever accuracy is desired and discuss its relationship with other important numbers in mathematics. Old Main, 143
Mathemagic Mathematics We will discover tricks and surprising ways to fool your friends using the magic of mathematics. Old Main, 121
Measurement of Pi Mathematics Students will measure the circumference and diameter of their heads to calculate Pi. Old Main, 143
Walk the Line Mathematic Education Students will experiment with motion detectors and graphing calculators to track different ways of walking. (A) Education, 200
(B) Education, 204
Intro to 3-D Printing Mechanical Engineering Using plastic and metal, we will demonstrate two different 3-D printing technologies. Engineering, Lab 1325
Reverse Engineering, Assessment and Digitization Mechanical Engineering Students will have a hands-on experience on how to remanufacture a defective part. They will disassemble a new product and a defective one. Students will then look at two other different product designs to compare and evaluate the current design and suggest improvements. Mechanical Engineering Building, High Bay
Holography Mechanical Engineering Students will learn how holograms work and create their own 3-D digital hologram projector. A holographic pyramid will be created to view images and videos projected three dimensionally. At the end of the session, students will understand the law of reflection and be able to describe how a ray of light bounces off of surfaces. State Hall, 037
Repairing Broken Bones Medicine When people break an arm or a leg, they are often put in a cast. In this session, medical students will demonstrate how to use casting materials and students will be taught how to cast each other's fingers. Science Hall, 2004
STEM in Medicine Medicine Learn about how the STEM field is intertwined in many aspect of medicine and discover possibilities that are available for your future. Shaver Music, 101
Taking Vitals and the Human Heart Medicine Interact with Wayne State School of Medicine students as you learn about the human heart and practice taking basic vitals such as blood pressure, heart rates and respirations. You will also have the chance to talk with medical students about what a career in medicine could look like for you. State Hall, 410
MyPlate Medicine Learn about the importance of food and nutrition and how it all plays into having a healthy lifestyle. State Hall, 219
Wonders of the Human Eye Medicine In this interactive session with Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson, a world-renowned glaucoma surgeon and researcher, students get a hands-on introduction to human eye anatomy and common eye diseases. President Wilson also will share the story of how he decided on a medical career and answer questions about how to follow a similar path. State Hall, 324
STEM is the New Black Medicine Participate in a discussion that will inform and engage students with professional STEM opportunities they might be unaware of in the medical field. Students will walk away with understanding the importance of creativty in a technical world and how to visualize themselves various career pathways. State Hall, 329
Innovation in Medicine Medicine and Entrepreneurship (Tech Town) This session will utilize start-up brainstorming ideas, team building and bring it together with biomedical engineering concepts in medicine. State Hall, 114
Nursing Simulation Lab Nursing Learn about patient care with SimGuy in our simulation lab. Students will be able to talk to him, feel his pulse and see him breathe. Cohn Building, 221
Hand-Washing Station Nursing Are your hands really clean? Come find out how to wash your hands like a nurse. Cohn Building, 221
Discover Nutrition and Food Science Nutrition and Food Science Students will explore Department of Nutrition and Food Science laboratories and gain hands-on experience with various physiological and biochemical tests, including grip strength, human salivary amylase and body composition analyses. They will also experiment with an oxygen bomb calorimeter to measure the free energy content of food. Science Hall, 3033
Radiologic Technology Pharmacy We will present the many aspects of a career in radiologic technology and feature diagnostic images and equipment related to X-ray, CT, MRI and beyond. State Hall, 425
Bouncing Bubbles Physical Science Everyone knows that bubbles are cool, but bubbles filled with fog are even cooler! This amazing activity will allow students to bounce dry ice bubbles in the palm of their hand. Get ready to make the most ghostly and exciting bubbles you have ever seen. State Hall, 213
Phantastic Physics Phenomena Physics The natural world is bound by the laws of physics, and even when we leave Earth's orbit the same constraints apply. Our physicists will share how some of these laws work, and students will explore how temperature is related to the different states of matter as we experiment with very cold temperatures. Students will also discover what a figure skater and a hurricane have in common as we experiment with Newton's laws of motion and create a fire tornado. Old Main, 106
Gerrymandering: Voters Choosing Politicians or Politicians Choosing Voters Political Science After learning about gerrymandering and how the government forms voting districts, students will participate in simulations to explore how the process can impact election outcomes. Old Main, 129
The Remarkable Human Brain Psychology We will discuss the incredible things your brain can do (please come with questions), and you will have the opportunity to see actual human brain specimens. Science Hall, 2028
How the Brain Works Psychology Participants will be introduced to key concepts and methodologies in cognitive neuroscience, the research field that aims to understand how the brain gives rise to the mind. Through hands-on activities, participants will be guided through the process of conducting research into the neural basis of how we perceive and form memories of our daily experiences. In small groups, they will discuss how researchers design studies, analyze data and interpret findings. Old Main, 103
Brain Games Psychology Education When you sit in school, do you ever wonder how your brain handles it all and why you are better at some things than others? We will learn about what the different parts of your brain do, what is being measured when we give people intelligence and other tests, how you remember and learn information, and ways to help your brain learn better. State Hall, 312
Invent Tech: MaKey MaKey and Imagination Research (Education) MaKey MaKey is an invention kit that encourages curious minds to find creative ways to interact with technology and computers using everyday objects. Using the MaKey MaKey circuit board, a laptop and wires, you can turn ordinary objects into anything you can think of: drums out of Play-Doh, a dance pad from aluminum foil, a vegetable keyboard, and anything else you can imagine! Education, 384
Set Sail with STEM Science and Mathematic Education This session will explore motion using sailboats. Education, 253/255
Fun with Electromagnets Teacher Education In this interactive, DIY, hands-on session students will experiment with electromagnets. See what you can do with a few simple household items! Undergraduate Library, second floor
Engineering Challenges in Building Teacher Education Students will have the opportunity to be an engineer and mathematician by building a structure using engineering and measurement skills. State Hall 311
Fun with Coding Teacher Education In this interactive session, we will explore the coding process. Education, 112
Red Cabage pH Indicator Teacher Education Students will understand the concepts of acids and bases through color changes. Students will have the chance to create their own pH indicator from red cabbage and will use household items to determine if they are basic or acidic based on color change. Education, 179
Edible Earth Aquifer Teacher Education Students will understand the concepts of acids and bases through color changes. Students will have the chance to create their own pH indicator from red cabbage and will use household items to determine if they are basic or acidic based on color change. State Hall, 218
Mike's Pizza