Session descriptions

We had lots to offer in this year's STEM Day---check out the listing below for all of our 2023 session descriptions. 


Title Topic Description Location
Building Profit Accounting Through a small building project, participants will understand how a company determines profit and peek into the everyday work of an accountant at a construction company. Art Building, 360
Using Science to Analyze Museum Objects  Anthropology Science plays an important role in museum conservation find out how! We'll use blacklights, pH tests and more to study objects from around the world and determine how they were made and how we can best take care of them. Old Main, Anthropology Museum (1224)
Epigenome: The Extra Layer of Genetic Information Biological Sciences Use model-building to explore how both genetic and epigenetic variation control chromosome activity and heredity. Old Main, 1111
Moss Explorers  Biological Sciences Something as common as the moss found in sidewalk cracks can host a whole community of animals. Explore the microscopic animals that live in mosses and see what's living under our feet! Science Hall, 2028
Genes and Behaviors Biological Sciences Students will learn how behavior is controlled by genes and the environment. Students 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 attractive food or be repelled by bad food. Science Hall, 2004
Yeast: Beyond the Conventional Use of Baking Bread and Making Alcoholic Beverages Biological Sciences Have you ever wondered how cellular processes and diseases in humans are studied by scientists? Saccharomyces cerevisiae, popularly known as yeast and used for the production of alcoholic beverages and bread, is an incredible tool for studying cellular processes in humans. You'll visualize Saccharomyces cerevisiae and organelles of the cell under the microscope and identify how it can be used to study cellular processes like lipid (fat) storage using wildtype and mutant cells. Science Hall, 2038
You Light Up My Life: Bacterial Bioluminescence  Biological Sciences Each student will learn about bioluminescence and then write a message on agar plates using bacteria that glow in the dark. We will grow up the bacteria and send pictures of the bioluminescence art within a couple of days of the session. Students will also visit a "microbial zoo" and talk about the many good roles that microorganisms play in our lives. Science Hall, 2009
The World Under Our Feet Biological Sciences The soil is home to a huge diversity of critters. Find out how scientists collect and sort soil to better understand biodiversity, and why any of it is important. Take home your own funnel to collect critters from your backyard. Education Building, 0149
Antibiotic Resistance Gets Around Biological Sciences Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is one of the most important health challenges of our time. Learn how microbes develop resistance and examine bacterial growth in the presence of antibiotics to identify susceptible and resistant strains. STEM Building, 501
CSI in the Wild Biological Sciences Blood on the trail! Tracks everywhere! Who was the victim and who was the culprit? Learn how wildlife biologists can use clues animals leave behind to find out what they have been up to. Old Main, Natural History Museum 
Filmmaking, Science and Engineering Chemical Engineering and Materials Sciences Do you like animation or special effects? An important aspect of these for the movies is science and engineering. In this session, we will use some online resources, with a focus on materials on Khan Academy and videos it accesses through Youtube, to present an introduction to the use of computers for representing a world for artistic purposes, which helps to show why engineers use computers to represent the world for scientific purposes. Engineering, 2359
Liquid Crystals: The Chemistry Behind Mood Rings and iPhone Screens Chemistry Ever wonder how a mood ring changes color when it detects your "mood" or how pictures appear on your TV or phone screen? Come find out about what liquid crystals are, and use them to image your handprint and sense items hidden in envelopes. Leave with your own personal mood ring to take home! Schaap Chemistry Builing, Schapp Auditorium 
Non-Newtonian Goo Experiment Chemistry Receive a short introduction to non-Newtonian-goo (aka oobleck) and potential applications in our world, then create your own. After witnessing a sample experiment, you'll write a hypothesis/proposed explanation on whether your mixture will prevent an egg from breaking upon impact, after being free-thrown into the air. STEM Building, 7th floor
How Do Medicines Work? Chemistry Do you wonder how medicines cure illnesses or reduce pain? This workshop will introduce you to how some common medicines work using computer-based activities. Undergraduate Library, Computer Lab A
The Science of Paper  Chemistry Learn how paper is being used in commercial sensing devices and build your own paper-based sensors. Schaap Chemistry Building, 3rd floor (Garden space)
Fashion Chemistry: Burn It, Dunk It, Shred It Chemistry Mix fashion and chemistry to learn how the fabrics we wear impact ourselves and our environment. Design your dream outfit and see how the design changes after you put your choices to the test in a variety of experiments. Art Building, 354
Using Light to Write Chemistry Did you ever wonder how X-ray images are stored in an X-ray film? This session demonstrates how light may be used to record characters and images in a thin sheet of photoactive material. STEM Building, 301
Baking Soda Volcano Chemistry Join us for a baking soda volcano demonstration. We will see a fun chemical reaction between vinegar and baking soda Schapp Chemistry, Atrium
Molecules into Materials: Slime Synthesis Chemistry This activity will introduce the idea of macromolecules and polymers as you make an alginate-based slime by crosslinking polyacrylate with calcium ions. Science Hall, 1125
Liquid Nitrogen Icecream Chemistry Create a common treat in a unique way! Watch and learn how we make a sweet classic in only a few minutes using liquid nitrogen. STEM Building, 7th floor
Laboratory Art Clinical Laboratory Science Scientists use lab tools called pipettes to measure and move small amounts of liquid from one place to another. Learn to use a micro-pipette and practice your skills by creating a work of art with colorful liquids! Mortuary Science, 121
Mixed Reality in 3-D Graphics and Interactions  Computer Science Immersive and augmented visualization is an essential tool for discovery and insight unable to be realized in 2-D or desktop applications. VR/AR content development brings users to a completely virtual space for immersive design reviews, architectural/3-D space walkthroughs, and real-to-life safe training simulations. Maccabees (5057 Woodward), 3104.5 and 3104.9 (third floor)
Cyber Defense: Intro to Hacking Computer Science Learn how to install a hacking platform called Kali Linux. This operating system is used for ethical hacking and will teach students some basic penetration techniques. Prentis, 0201
Coding with Arduino  Electical and Computer Engineering In this session we will use Arduinos, a type of open hardware development board, to create exciting projects. We will learn how to code an Arduino, build a distance sensor and an electric piano. Engineering, 1520
Engaging with Collaborative Robotics Engineering Learn about, see and interact with a collaborative robot. Collaborative robots are new industrial automation technologies that work with, rather than separate from, human operators. Manufacturing Engineering Building, High Bay
Free Standing Tower Engineering Work in an engineering team to build the "tallest free-standing structure" with the materials provided. "Free-standing" means the structure cannot be held, taped, wedged between desks, etc. Education, 204
The Science of Construction Computer Science Students will visit the State Hall construction site and see how science, technology, engineering, math and a host of other disciplines come together to renovate a building. Members of the construction team, the architects and engineers, and WSU Facilities personnel will talk about the work that goes into planning, designing and constructing a project. Students will learn more about the various disciplines that work on a construction project and how they can get involved. State Hall, outside entrance 
Water Quality Monitoring  Environmental Science Get an overview of the causes and consequences of water pollution, including bacteria contamination, invasive species and microplastics. We will look at sampling equipment and hold hands-on demonstrations.

Science Hall, 2046

Liquid or Solid? Exploring the Complex Physical Behavior of Rocks Using Analog Materials Geology Rocks display a wide range of physical behaviors depending on the conditions under which they are deformed. This activity will explore how conditions like the rate of deformation or the temperature during deformation control how rocks respond to stress. Students will experiment by mixing their own non-Newtonian and conducing various physical tests, including walking and jumping in a wading pool of oobleck. Old Main, 0319
Visit the David J. Lowrie Geology Mineral Museum Geology Visit Detroit's first geology mineral museum, which is home to over 350 specimens on display, including a collection of nearly 50 agates from across the globe. The museum also features a private collection that was once owned by Thomas Edison, a display of antique miners' lamps dating as far back as the 1800s, and a fantastic fluorescent display. Old Main, Geology Museum
Supply Chain Escape Room Global Supply Chain Have fun learning about supply chain while trying to escape from an escape room! Your instructors will teach you about supply chain and then, in order, to get the next clue, you have to solve the supply chain problems provided to you. It will be an interactive session with lots of learning and action! Education, 48
Lego and Faces: Understand How Technologies are Transforming Business Information Systems Management This is your introduction to some advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain and their impacts on business. Individual and group activities will be used as metaphors to introduce technical concepts. Education, 0169
Health, Sport and Fitness Evaluation Kinesiology and Health Sciences Learn the science behind health and fitness in a fun way as we explore sport and fitness testing and how it impacts your daily health. Participate in grip strength testing, vertical jump testing, cardiovascular fitness tests, and body composition evaluation. All tests are fun and easy to do. Education, 055
Prison Escape: Do You Have What It Takes to Prove Your Innocence? Law You're being framed for a crime you did not commit! Put your lawyer hat on and utilize the forensic science of fingerprinting, DNA and lie detector tests to prove your case to the judge and jury. Damon J. Keith Center, 1243/1244
Creating Accessible Experiences Marketing What does it feel like to experience hearing loss? This interactive session will take you through experiencing what hearing impairment can feel like and also explore inclusive practices in our day-to-day lives. Old Main, 0151
Mathemagic Mathematics Explore cool tricks and surprising results using the power of mathematics. Manoogian, 0024
Sounds like fun! Game Theory and Social Dilemmas Mathematics Game theory, the mathematical study of games, is the base of rational decision-making in economics, political science, biology, philosophy and computer science. When we think about games, we think about fun yet games contain many ingredients common to all conflicts. This session will explore different social dilemmas from the perspective of game theory. Education, 200
Walk the Line Mathematics In this session, you will use a motion detector and a graphing calculator to create a graph of your walk toward a nearby object. See how the speed and distance of your walk are represented in the slope of the line that appears on the graph. This is a great way to better understand the slope of a line and how graphs represent things around us. Education, 255
Math is Everywhere: The Intersection of Art and Mathematics Mathematics Join the College of Education's TEMPEST Math Learning Community for an interactive session on how two seemingly different subjects, mathematics and art, complement each other. We will be discussing math themes in famous works of art before you have the opportunity to create your own geometric art painting. Art Building, 157
The Cool Math: Fun with Fractals Mathematics The beauty of fractals inspires interest in science, math and art. Fractivities are hands-on projects that teach fractal concepts in a fun, artistic way. Utilize your math skills in real-world applications and also work together as a team to create large fractal designs. Suddenly math transforms from something hard, boring and useless into a fun, exciting and beautiful realm to explore. STEM Building, 201
Next Generation Rechargeable Batteries Mechanical Engineering We will demonstrate how rechargeable batteries work through atomic-level simulations. Bio Engineering, 2220
Finger Casting Workshop Medicine This hands-on session focuses on broken bones you'll even get to create a cast for your fingers. Cast decorating supplies are included. Education, 0171
Hands-on Ultrasound Medicine-Radiological Technology Students will get a glimpse of medical student training with a crash course in anatomy and hands-on experience with an ultrasound machine to view anatomical structures. Cohn Building, 0124
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. Damon J. Keith Center, 2242
What is Blood Made Of? Nursing The session will provide a brief overview of blood, including where it comes from and what it is made of. We will also walk through a demonstration using edible items to indicate the parts of blood. Cohn Building, 0217
Dissection of Skeletal Remains  Nursing Dissect a barn owl pellet to examine what the animal ate. Using a chart, students will identify different animals by their skeletal remains. STEM Building, 0519
Dissection Nursing Join us in our Innovation Lab for dissection of sheep eyes and owl pellets. Students will identify parts of the eyeball and learn about ecological systems as well as they discover and identify the various bone structures of the prey animals. Science Hall, 1028
What Is It Like to Be a Nurse: Simulation Experience Nursing Be an active participant in a basic clinical nursing practice simulation using high-fidelity human patient simulators and immersive virtual simulation. Cohn Building, SIM Lab
Nutrition, Food Science and Dietetics Nutrition and Food Science Learn about the science of food and nutrition through fun and interactive experiments! You will also learn about the careers you can choose in this growing field. Science Hall, 3033 (Nutrition and Food Science Lab)
OT: Helping People Live Life to the Fullest Occupational Therapy Hear from WSU students and professors about what it's like to be an occupational therapist. Then, see for yourself by experimenting with the tools OTs use to help their patients do the everyday activities that are important to them. Undergraduate Library, Community Room
Lotion Potion Pharmacy In this hands-on session, you'll get to create your own lotion using the same techniques that pharmacists use to prepare specialty medications. Engineering, 2409
Photography Photography Learn the fundamentals of photography to create traditional and contemporary compositions using DSLR cameras and lighting units. Photography terminology and techniques will supplement hands-on activities. Education, 155
PT: To Live Is to Move and to Move Is to Live Physical Therapy Physical therapists are the go-to experts who help people move in a safe, purposeful and enjoyable way. Learn how human movement is made possible through muscles, bones and joints, and how PTs assess and treat movement problems. Cohn Building, 0013
Could I be a PT? Physical Therapy Screen a short film about what it's really like to be a physical therapist, then head to exploratory stations for hands-on activities that will teach you about the many different PT career paths. Cohn Building, 0015
Hands-on. Health Care Careers Physican Assistant It's exciting and rewarding to be a physician assistant! Learn more about this health care career from Wayne State PA students and professors, who will guide you through three hands-on skills activities. STEM Building, 112
Slow Roll Challenge Physics Students will build cars out of K'nex to roll down a track and see which car rolls the slowest. STEM Building, 401
Slingshot Rockets Physics Blast off and explore potential and kinetic energy while making your own slingshot rubber-band rockets! Manoogian, 0028
Learn about Physics! Physics and Astronomy See what fun we can have learning about the physics of how stars move and the extremes of the universe, from playing with spinning water buckets and chairs, to the air that we breathe, fire tornadoes and freezing things with liquid nitrogen! Physics Building, 245
Exploring Our Night Sky Physics and Astronomy Learn about light, stars and the visible night sky. You'll use diffraction glasses to explore the chemistry of the stars, and then learn to identify planets and constellations in the current night sky using our planetarium, culminating in a team-based identification competition. Old Main, Planetarium (0209)
The Truth About Teens Psychology Moody, hormonal, self-absorbed these are just some of the words often used to describe teenagers. Why do teens get such a bad rap? In this session, students will learn about the science of the teenage brain and dispel stereotypes about teens through an interactive "Myth vs. Reality" game. Prentis, 0211
Brain at Work Psychology Two integrated, interactive workshops introduce students to brain research aimed at understanding how the brain works and how researchers go about linking brain function to our abilities to perceive the world around us, learn and remember our experiences. Education, 189
The Amazing Brain Psychology Students will have an opportunity to see real human brains and speak to neuroscientists to learn about their amazing brains! Students will also design a brain hat to better understand the human brain. Science Hall, 1040
Helping People Hear Radiation Therapy Battling cancer is a scary time in a person's life, but radiation therapy technologists guide their patients through with expertise and compassion. Learn about this important career, and get an up-close look at how radiation therapy treatment works. Cohn Building, 0015
X-Ray Vision Radiological Technology When something goes wrong beneath our skin, doctors and other health care professionals use X-rays, CT scans and MRI scans to see what's happening. Get an up-close look at diagnostic imaging and find out how important it is in hospitals and doctor's offices. Education, 0300
Egg vs. Earth -- Who Will Win? Science Which is stronger, the giant ball of space rock that we call home or the humble chicken egg? In this activity, you will put this to the test. Be prepared to use your creative skills and ingenuity or get messy! Shaperio, 415
Preparing for a STEM Major in College Social Work Many students want to explore a STEM major in college but have not taken the courses necessary to be successful or be admitted into college. We will explore the academic preparation and pipeline experiences that will make you a standout applicant for college STEM majors. Summer Program opportunities and resources will be shared. Old Main, 0129
Race to New Heights! The Spaghetti Tower Marshmallow Challenge Social Work and Engineering Use your ingenuity and critical thinking skills in a race to the Warrior finish line. See if you have what it takes to build the tallest tower in the least amount of time, using simple, everyday objects including spaghetti, marshmallows, string and tape. Who will win the race and reach for new heights? Cohn, 117
Create a Critter STEM Education Explore animal adaptations to create a critter with specific adaptations that enable it to survive and thrive within a habitat. Education, 253
Where is Your Territory? Urban Studies and Planning In what parts of your neighborhood and city do you feel most at home? Where does your territory begin and end? Why? In this session, you'll see how we can use digitized mapping to define your spaces and places. Undergraduate Library, Lab C