Session descriptions

We have lots to offer in this year's STEM Day---check out the listing below for all of our 2020 session descriptions.


Title Topic Description Location
Bacterial Luminescence Biology 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 garden" and talk about the many good roles that microorganisms play in our lives. Science Hall, 2025/Science Hall, 2003
Brain Plasticity Biology Student research teams will explore the plasticity of the sensory-motor system by designing, executing, analyzing and presenting experiments with prism goggles that temporarily change their visual perception. Purdy Kresge Library, STEM Commons
CSI in the Wild: Who Killed the Wabbit? Biology Field ecologists often cannot directly view animal interactions, so they have to rely on clues. Students will work in teams to gather evidence, make predictions, and support their views as we solve the "mystery." Museum of Natural History
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. Old Main, 0145
Genomics and Bioinformatics from Biomedicine to Biodiversity Biology Students will explore the GenBank databank and genome browsers such as NCBI genome data viewer, Ensembl, and UCSC, focusing on genes in a human genome and identifying the mutations of genes associated with diseases. Undergraduate Library, 2315 (Lab B)
Crash Test Dummies Biomedical Engineering Discuss and demonstrate personal safety testing, as it relates to sports and vehicles. Bioengineering Center (818 W. Hancock)
Film-Making, Science, and Engineering Chemical Engineering Do you like animation or special effects? Did you know these are only possible because of science and engineering? In this session, we will use online resources, with a focus on materials on Khan Academy and videos it accesses through Youtube, to show how computers represent a world for artistic purposes, and, in turn, why engineers use computers to represent the world for scientific purposes. Engineering, 2359
Clouds in a Bottle Chemistry Making a cloud inside a bottle may help you figure out how they form outside in the sky. Warm, moist air rises in the atmosphere, cools, and beautiful, puffy clouds can be the result. Cohn, 0015
Egg Tye Chemistry Ever wonder how to get a perfectly dyed egg. Join us as we make some hypotheses before we start making chemical reactions for results.  Chemistry Building, 0283
Hair Chemistry Chemistry Did you know that every time you do your hair, you are doing chemistry? Come to this workshop to learn the important scientific role hairstylists play in our communities and to create a hair care product designed especially for you! Education, 0171
How Do Medicines Work? The Chemistry of Medicines 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, Lab C (third floor)
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, Auditorium/Atrium
The Science of Paper Chemistry This session will explain how paper is being used in commercial sensing devices. The student will also have the opportunity to build their own paper-based sensors. Chemistry Building, 3rd floor (Garden space)
The Science of Slime Chemistry It oozes between your fingers when you pick it up, yet doesn't stick to your skin. It comes in a variety of colors, usually green. It may be an ordinary thing that every kid makes ... but, you've never made slime like this! Come learn about the science of slime and make something super special. Science Hall, 2038
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. Old Main, 1151
Volcano Explosion Chemistry Students will utilize project-based learning to learn more about volcanoes! Science Hall, 2046
Why Sigh When You Can Get Slime Chemistry Our session will consist of a borax and glue polymerization reaction to create slime. Schaap Chemistry, Atrium
From Rainfall to Drinking Water: Learn How Water Moves Through Cities Civil and Environmental Engineering In this participatory demonstration, we will show how rainfall is converted to runoff, wastewater, groundwater recharge; and its path to becoming clean drinking water for consumption. Source water (from 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. Typical processes used for cleaning water in water treatment plants are aeration, coagulation/flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection. Engineering, 2327
Transportation Safety and Mobility Civil and Environmental Engineering Attendees will learn about issues in transportation relating to safety and travel. This will include an overview of current transportation technologies and issues, as well as a demonstration of new technologies used for the collection of transportation data EDC, Lab 0504
How the Human Ear Works Communications and Science Disorders Hearing is vital to our survival, our day-to-day communication, our ability to learn, our enjoyment of music, and necessary for our overall quality of life. This session will describe the basic anatomy and physiology of hearing in humans and highlight different factors that may damage this important sensory process.  Cohn, 0021
Build Your Own Arcade Computer Science Interested in electronics and arcade games? Join us for a fun-filled session where students will learn to make hardware and software work together by building an arcade machine from a Raspberry Pi and more. Cohn, 0013
Fun with Coding Computer Science What is coding and why is it important? Students will learn how to enter codes, step-by-step so that they can move through a series of quests as they attempt to complete a mission. Education, 0112
Game and Character Design Computer Science Students will have an opportunity to learn about game and character design in this workshop. Undergraduate Library, Tech Bunker (second floor)
Mixed Reality in 3D Graphics Computer Science Get first-hand experience with new techniques in 3D mixed reality, HoloLens, Oculus, etc. through state-of-the-art demos in 3D Wayne State Campus, 3D animations, 3D Human Organs, etc. Maccabees Building, 3104.5 (Graphics and Imaging Lab)
STEM in Construction: How Does It All Work? Construction Management Have you ever wondered what happens on a construction site? Visit the site of WSU's new STEM Innovation Learning Center and find out how science, technology, engineering, math, and design all played a role in the renovation of a former library into a state-of-the-art classroom building. STEM Building, Entrance of Warren and Gullen Mall
Adding the A: How Art Supports STEM Professions Educational Art Q: What is important to be a successful scientist, a mathematician or an engineer; an expert in technology, or an innovator? A: Vision, ideas, creativity, imagination… all qualities encouraged through the arts. Q: What is necessary to forge ahead in difficult and challenging fields; to go where no one has gone before? A: The belief in oneself, the ability to envision one's strengths; self-awareness — qualities that art therapy facilitates. Art Building, 158
Brain Games Educational Psychology 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, how you remember and learn information, and what is being measured when we give people intelligence and other tests. From this, you should understand how to help your brain learn better. Education, 0155
3D Printing Engineering Take a quick dive to explore and learn all the basics of 3D printing.  Undergraduate Library, Tech Bunker (second floor)
Changing the Energy Landscape Through Catalyst Design Engineering Participants will learn about energy conversion and storage systems (i.e., batteries, fuel cells, electrolyzers). They will learn about what catalysts are and their role in moving us forward toward a generation of clean energy and protection of our environment. Engineering, 2530
Egg Car Crash Engineering Students will use Marbles to conduct how slow they will be able to Roll. Science Hall, 2028
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Engineering Students will be led through an exercise that will teach them how entrepreneurship and innovation are different from "business" and enjoy an activity that people of all backgrounds can engage in and learn something from. Bioengineering, 2220
Paper Tower Challenge Engineering Compete in teams to build the tallest paper tower. MISB, 123
Pipe Cleaner Challenge Engineering This is a fun yet physical activity that will help students learn critical thinking, use their minds to strategize, and have fun with their hands. This activity also teaches about teamwork and patience. Cohn, 0117
STEM Career Jeopardy Engineering Work collaboratively in teams to brainstorm answers on topics including education, the branch of engineering, famous engineers, etc. Engineering, 1520
Turn Your Smartphone Into a 3-D Hologram Engineering Students will learn how holograms work and create their own 3D 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. Manufacturing Engineering, 1005
Sneak Peek Engineering and Communications This problem-solving activity will help students learn to communicate effectively. Before the game begins, the facilitator builds a small sculpture with Legos, keeping it covered in an equal distance from all groups. Students are divided into teams and each team is given enough blocks to duplicate the structure. Bioengineering, 2232
Budget Challenge Finance In this activity, students will learn what a budget is and what its purpose is. Students will learn how to decipher between financial necessities and luxury items, and to become financially literate. MISB, 227
Liquid or solid? Exploring the Complex Physical Behavior of Rocks Using Analog Materials Geology Have you ever wondered how the Earth's mantle can be solid, but can also be convecting like a liquid? 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 a rock responds to stress. Students will experiment by mixing their own "non-Newtonian fluid" and conducting various physical tests. Old Main, 0319
Sugar Shock Health What is sugar? Where is it found? Learn about the different types of sugar and how they are digested in your body. Find out what "added sugar" means and what happens to your body when you eat too much of it. Then, put your new knowledge to the test as you search food labels, calculate sugar content using sugar cubes and participate in a taste testing. Education, 0169
Global Health: Helping People From Different Cultural Backgrounds In Emergencies Health and Languages What if there was an earthquake and you had to help the people who got hurt? How would you determine who needs CPR? What if you don't speak the same language? What if there are religious or other considerations you need to be aware of to provide care? How will your knowledge of foreign languages and cultures impact your ability to help? Join us for a simulation of a catastrophe and learn how to administer CPR. We will also discover the importance of knowing foreign languages and cultures when it comes to providing emergency care not only abroad but at home. Old Main, 1162
Valve Disassembly and Reverse Engineering Industrial and Systems Engineering Students will reverse engineer a valve in order to introduce them to the concepts of product design, manufacturing, and disassembly. Students will disassemble an existing valve, record the components and order of disassembly, and identify manufacturing processes used to make individual valve components. The activity will give them a hands-on introduction to product design and manufacturing Manufacturing Engineering Building, High Bay
Digital Citizenship: Making New Friends via Mystery Skype Information Sciences A game of 20 questions between two classrooms in different parts of the world. The classroom might 30 or 3,000 miles away, but linked through Skype. Students in the class take turns asking each other questions, attempting to guess the location of the opposing class. MISB, 145
Do Bees Have Knees? Information Sciences Bees are seen as both killers and saviors. One story is that without bees, the world will not be able to produce the food it needs to survive. Another story is that an invasion of killer bees will create huge problems for the human population. Undergraduate Library, Lab A
Human Performance Assessments: Am I Warrior Strong? Kinesiology  Learn more about the different types of fitness as you work with athletes wearing heart rate monitors on five different fitness assessments: Rockport walking test for aerobic fitness, push-up test for upper body strength, sit-up test for abdominal endurance, sit-and-reach test for trunk flexibility and vertical jump test for power. Mood will be assessed on a 1-5 scale before and after the fitness assessment.  Education Building, 0055 (Excercise Physiology Lab)
Fitness Testing & Evaluation Kinesiology/ Exercise Sport Science Learn how exercise and fitness assessment can help you stay healthy. Old Main, 0010
Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents — Oh My! Law People invent products, create technologies and make artwork, music, and movies. When an artist or an inventor creates something, they want to be the owners of the work they create, but how do you own something that is just a thought or a creation? Those in the creative fields turn to lawyers to help them own and get paid for their work. Meet with lawyers who work in these fields every day, learn how to protect your own creative ideas, and see if becoming a lawyer that protects artistic and technological creations is a career that might interest you! Law School, Patrich Auditorium
Helping People Learn and Perform Better Learning Design and Technology Learning Design and Technology professionals get to help people learn and perform better in many different settings. This session offers different approaches to attain that goal and provides hands-on experience. MISB, 323
Mathemagic (A) Mathematics Explore various applications of mathematics through fun and interesting tricks. Education, 0149
Mathemagic (B) Mathematics Discover different tricks, surprising problems and results related to the power of mathematics. Old Main, 0121
Reading the World with Mathematics Mathematics Textbook problems have answers, but usually, those answers are irrelevant to students' lives. Reading the world with mathematics has students problem-solving issues within their community to see how mathematics can be used to inform the people. Students will work with data from Detroit organizations to discuss the issue, calculate the numbers, and suggest strategies to deal with the issue. Prentis Building, 0008
Visualizing Pi Mathematics Coding different visuals that show the beauty of mathematics. Prentis, 0211
Creating Voice Over & Sound Folly Media Arts Students will join in for a hands-on session of recording voiceover and sound effects to accompany a short animated movie scene that will require students to follow along to onscreen written cues. Students will be assigned roles to either read lines or record choreographed sound effects to accompany the clip. Old Main, 4130
Special Effects and the Art of Movie Making Media Arts This session will explore some of the techniques utilized in creating effects for film and how they're currently used in motion pictures. Students will see demonstrations of video effects utilizing software and graphics that will include how green screen and motion capture is used to create realistic fantasy settings. Old Main, 4113
Telling Science Stories: Using Graphic Design to Make Ideas Visible Media Arts It's a challenge for scientists to tell non-scientists about their work in an understandable way. How can a science story be told in a compelling visual form? In this hands-on workshop, students will explore this question using the tools of art and design — line, space, weight, shape, size, color, etc. — to create diagrams and concept models that effectively communicate scientific ideas and data. Old Main, 3114
Finger Casting Medicine After a brief presentation about broken bones, students will break into groups to "cast" their fingers. We have markers available for them to sign/design/etc. their casts before taking them home. Old Main, 0105
Make Music With Ghost Detectors Music Technology Some ghost-hunting devices are mislabeled electromagnetic field detectors. Since electromagnetism is at the heart of music technology, one can apply the mechanism used for ghost detecting to make and manipulate music. In this workshop, we will use electromagnetic pickup devices to detect invisible audio signals in a building. As a group, we will make an orchestra of sounds that can only be heard with a scientific tool. Old Main, 1388
Using Science to Analyze Museum Objects Museum of Anthropology Science plays an important role in museum conservation — come learn 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, Museum of Anthropology
The Human Brain Neuroscience A display of human brain specimens. Science Hall, 1028
What is it Like to be a Nurse? Simulation Experience & Handwashing-When & How. Nursing Students will both participate in a basic clinical nursing practice simulation using high fidelity human patient simulator and conduct an experiment on effective handwashing pre /post lesson using GloGerm Classroom Handwashing Kit (hand gel and blacklight). Cohn Building 221/217
Discover Nutrition and Food Science Nutrition and Food Science Is a food delicious or not so delicious? How a food tastes in our mouth is based on many factors, including flavor, texture, temperature, and smell. Our taste buds tell us if food is sweet, sour, salty, bitter or umami. In a simple experiment, students will examine the importance of taste buds (the taste receptor cells) in distinguishing various flavors. Science Hall, 3033 (Nutrition and Food Science Lab)
Pharmacy Pharmacy We are a multidisciplinary department providing expertise in the areas of drug discovery, development, and evaluation. We are dedicated to pursuing a scholarship that creates new knowledge, learning that disseminates and preserves knowledge, and engagement that exchanges knowledge. Our mission is to provide an integrated, multidisciplinary education to students in our professional and graduate programs; maintain innovative research programs that contribute to our understanding of the design, synthesis, delivery, disposition; and action of biologically active compounds, and serve as a resource to the university and the community at large.  Science Hall, 1109
Photography Photography STEM Photography includes various photography techniques using DSLR cameras. Participants will operate cameras in different lighting levels and settings. No prior camera experience is necessary. Cohn, 0119 (Lounge)
Photos on the Go: Cellphone Photography and Editing Photography This session will cover the basics of photography and free apps you can use to edit your photos on your phone. After learning the rules, we will use props to take photos on our smartphones. Finally, we will reconvene and practice constructive criticism. MISB, 319
Physical Therapy - To Live is to Move and to Move is to Live Physical Therapy Understand the role of physical therapy (PT) in transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience. Prentis, 0019
Electromagnetic Trains Physics You may be surprised to learn that some of the world's fastest trains have no moving mechanical parts.These so-called "Magnetically Levitating" trains use electromagnetic force to generate propulsion to obtain speeds well over 200 mph. In this session, we will demonstrate some of the working principles of MagLev trains using a DIY, home-built electromagnetically propelled train. Science Hall, 1117
Introduction to Non-Newtonian-Goo w/ a Hypothesis Physics 1. Students will receive a short introduction to non-Newtonian goo (aka, Oobleck) and potential applications in our world. 2. Students will create their own mixture/consistency of non-Newtonian goo from water, corn starch and food coloring (optional). 3. After witnessing a sample experiment, students will write a hypothesis/proposed explanation on whether their mixture will prevent an egg from breaking upon impact, after being free-thrown into the air. Cohn, 0124
Phantastic Physics Phenomena Physics Physics demos Old Main, 0103
Slow Roll Challenge Physics Students will use marbles to conduct how slow they will be able to roll. Old Main, 1163
The Life and Death of Stars Physics & Astronomy At first glance, stars in the night sky may all seem the same, but they're not. Learn about how stars are formed and the different ways they can end their existence, as supernovas, black holes, and white dwarfs. Old Main, Planetarium 
An Introduction of Applied Behavior Analysis Psychology In this session, students will get an introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis and learn the importance of ABA Therapy. We will discuss the effectiveness and the impact it has on children with an autism spectrum disorder. Students will gain this knowledge through group discussions, hands-on activities and interactive games Education, 0204
Chew Are What Chew Think! Psychology Participants will experiment with gum chewing to determine its impact on academic performance. Education Building, 0179
How The Brain Works Psychology An introduction to the research process in learning how the brain works. Prentis, 0017
Myths of Adolescence: What Does Psychology Say About the Teen Brain? 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, dispel stereotypes about teens through an interactive "Myth vs. Reality" game, and propose research-driven changes to laws and policies that affect adolescents. Education, 0300
Predicting and Fighting Crime Using Compstat Public safety How do you use the Compstat model for policing and crime reduction? The Compstat model involves a statistical analysis of crime data to identify hot spots for a directed approach to crime reduction. Prentis, 0010
Simulated X-Rays Radiologic Technology Students will be introduced to the many aspects of a career in radiologic technology, featuring diagnostic images and equipment related to X-ray, CT, MRI, and beyond. MISB, 223
Fashion A Fish Science and Engineering Use concepts of structure and function to engage in science and engineering practices to design a fish with characteristics for optimal survival in an aquatic habitat. Education, 0253
Race to New Heights! The Spaghetti Tower Marshmallow Challenge Social Work Student teams will use their 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? Science Hall, 2004
The Great M & M Count and the World of Statistics Statistics This statistical experiment is designed to accumulate statistical data on the average package of M & Ms. Participants will explore and discuss statistics, including the mean, percents, frequency distributions, and histograms. By using a hands-on approach, students will see how a candy manufacturer guarantees a satisfying product to its consumers MISB, 233
Negotiating Chocolate Prices Supply Chain Learn what supply chain management is in the automotive industry and how it works at General Motors. Start at square one in the engineering phase, move to purchasing, use logistics to get parts from a supplier to an assembly plant, and learn how the parts move down the assembly or out to the dealers.  MISB, 127
What is Supply Chain Management? Supply Chain In this activity, students will learn what supply chain management is through an activity that describes the supply chain of distributing and selling cell phones. Students will be educated about the opportunities available to those with supply chain management degrees. MISB, 237
Eyeing' an Inclusive Environment Technology Did you know that over 56 million Americans have some form of disability? This interactive session will simulate different types of vision impairment, including color blindness, color contract, central loss and more. We will also discuss strategies for creating an inclusive environment with a focus on visual impairment accommodations when it comes to technology.  Old Main, 1171
Super TechToolz for Super Students Technology Students will have hands-on playtime with the web's best #edutechtoolz to help them be their best in and out of the classroom.  Prentis, 201
Time Management and Technology Technology Do you struggle trying to juggle your work, homework and family time? Join us for this workshop with how you can use technology to improve your time management skills as a student and beyond.  Undergraduate Library, Community Room
Color Theory & Candy Theatre and Dance Students learn about how we perceive color by shining pure, colored light on candies and observing how their appearances change. Old Main, Maggie Allesie Theatre (Studio B)