Groups from the Bayport/Blue Point School District’s Gifted Students Program were “scientists for a day” at recent visits to campus. Their hands-on learning experiences gave them new and fun ways to learn about science.
On April 24, 2017, a group of fourth graders explored 3D coloring in a visualization activity using virtual reality goggles in the iCreate Lab. Led by Director Dave Ecker, the Stony Brook students working in the lab gave tours of the space and the resources that are available to inspire creativity and new ways to solve problems, including 3D printers, silk screening for t-shirts and a large selection of tools.
After lunch, the students visited Professor Gil Hanson’s geosciences lab. There, the students were able to use an EM2 Stream Table and an augmented reality sandbox to study the impact of water on the surrounding land and the changes in topography from moving the sand landscape.
Then on Friday, April 28, 2017, a group of fifth graders discovered their own DNA in a lab experience managed by Stony Brook student Mirna Kheir and others members of the Biomedical Engineering Honor Society, Alpha Eta Mu Beta, led by Faculty Advisor Dr. M. Ete Chan. The elementary school students were instructed on how to isolate their DNA using a kit provided by BioRad. They learned how to use a pipette and stored the DNA in a keepsake bottle necklace to show friends and family.
The day ended with a campus tour and a chance to view one of Stony Brook’s most cherished traditions, the Roth Pond Regatta. The students learned about the limitations to the materials required to create the boats and marveled at the knowledge of engineering needed to make them buoyant.
The group visits were arranged through Ellen Vlachos, Gifted and Talented Teacher Program from Blue Point Elementary School, and the Stony Brook University Office of Government and Community Relations.
— Joan Dickinson