Tuesday, March 3, 2015

From Middle School to College

IU South Bend has a program called College Immersion Day in which middle-school students are invited to the campus to learn what college has to offer in the hopes that they will be motivated to stay in school, work harder, and consider IU South Bend for their future education. Professor McMillen has always been an excellent showman for our department and spokesman for the university in the various administrative roles he has filled, so it was no surprise that last Friday it was he that spoke to a group of young students from Jefferson Intermediate School.  His audience was an eighth-grade chemistry class and he got their attention early on by igniting a hydrogen-filled balloon as he routinely does in his organic chemistry class. Will we see any of these students in our department five years from now? No one can tell, of course, but if there was potential interest, then surely McMillen tapped it and lit a spark!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Science Trivia Night

The IU South Bend chapter of the Tri Beta Biological Honor Society hosted a fundraiser on Feb 26 in the evening. Three teams of professors faced off in a Jeopardy-style friendly competition featuring questions from biology, chemistry, and physics with pizza and soda for all who came. Tri Beta organized the three teams as Anderson-Bushnell (Biochemistry-Biology), Marr-Marmorino (Biology-Chemistry), and Davis-Wilkes (Physics-Biology). Professors Davis and Wilkes won the contest with the closest (11) to correct answer (10) for the final question "How many dimensions does string theory predict?" Thanks to all the members of the Tri Beta Society for their efforts in preparing questions and setting up the event (especially the dynamic emcee Umron Alkotob) which was enjoyed by students and faculty.