U R a Scientist, Thursday May 18th

On Thursday, May 18th the Exhibit Hall will close for two hours so Finalists can have hands on experiences in classrooms and labs on and off campus. 
A full list of experiences can be found below.  You will be able to indicate your preference while registering. 

1. Bats, Bats and More Bats! – Mark Brigham Bats represent 14 of all mammal species yet are poorly studied compared to most other mammals. They also, like snakes, spiders and Maple Leaf fans, don't get much respect. Spend an hour with the real Batman and learn some of the facts about bats and why they are amongst the most beneficial animals. We will do our very best to have a live animal on hand so you can shake a wing and get a good close look.

2. Are Microplastics Taking Over the World? – Britt Hall Microplastics are defined as any plastic with a diameter less than 5 mm and are prevalent in our aquatic environments. Problems associated with these plastics, such as contamination of both marine and freshwater environments and ingestion by aquatic organisms, are of increasing concern. Our lab quantifies the microplastics in water and fish in a prairie creek immediately north of Regina. Learn about microplastics, how you can help reduce them in the environment, and isolate and identify microplastics from common personal care products.

3. Biomechanics – Paul Bruno/John Barden Spend some time in a biomechanics lab as we demonstrate various types of equipment including a motion capture system, EMG system, and force plates. We will also talk about practical and clinical applications of the work we do and how it applies to your world!

4. EYES – Problem Solving Through Engineering Try your luck at using technology and engineering to complete a set of challenges from the EYES staff. Using your knowledge of the basics of building, to more complex theories in physics, you will work together in small groups to design and build solutions to overcome challenges that engineers face each day. We will also have an interactive display, including a few robots.

5. Wave Phenomena – Shaun Syzmanski Waves are an exciting and important area in physics. They surround us every day, from mechanical waves to sound and light. Come and see our waves demonstrations from the most basic to the very complex with a finale that involves fire and music.

6. Mathematics and Cryptology – Patrick Maidorn / Michael Kozdron / Shaun Fallat Explore how mathematics and statistics can be used to create and break secret messages. We will look at both historical and modern codes, from codes used in antiquity to issues in internet security.

7. So You Think You Know About Trees? (Bilingual) – Daniel Gagnon Annual tree growth rings (laid down by trees around their trunk circumference in temperate and boreal regions) can reveal much to the inquisitive scientist. You can of course determine the age of a tree by counting the number of growth rings. (Is there always one per year?) The width of the growth rings can also tell you how fast the tree has grown. (Are old trees always larger, young trees always smaller?) Variations in growth ring width can be correlated with recorded climate data to reveal past climate conditions, before meteorological stations existed. Also, carbon-14 dating of organic archeological artifacts or fossil remains has been made more precise with corrections made from bristlecone pine growth rings (8000 year chronosequence). Come and see tree cores under the microscope and discuss these various aspects. There will also be some tree cross sections (where you can see the growth rings) that will astound you!

8. DNA Isolation – John Stavrinides DNA is central to our understanding of organismal biology, taxonomy, and evolution, and is also used in forensics to solve crimes. In this activity, you will carry out a DNA extraction from fruits/vegetables using common household reagents. You will be introduced to the chemistry of the extraction, as well as the underlying importance of DNA in organisms.

9. Inorganic Synthesis – Brian Sterenberg Explore phosphorus-carbon bond formation using tungsten phosphenium complexes, and characterization of the product using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy. The synthesis will be carried out using an inert atmosphere glovebox, and you will get hands-on experience using the glovebox. The reaction will involve the formation of a tungsten-coordinated phosphenium ion, followed by addition of an organic substrate, leading to phosphorus-carbon bond formation. Once the synthetic reaction is complete, the product will be characterized by 1H and 31P NMR spectroscopy, using a Varian 300 MHz NMR spectrometer. You will have the opportunity to analyze a spectrum and determine the chemical structure of the product.

10. The Science of Vaccines – Christopher Yost Vaccines are a critical tool to protecting the health of humans from infectious diseases globally. Despite this clear value there is misinformed debate in the North American popular press regarding the value and importance of vaccines. In this interactive session, you will learn the principles of how vaccines work, and most importantly, how rapidly infectious diseases can spread in the absence of a vaccination program. Be an active participant in simulated disease outbreaks and pandemics and learn how to identify the origins of an outbreak and observe in real-time the strength of vaccination programs in protecting public health. Become an outbreak detective and find the origin of a simulated outbreak.

11. An Exploration of Infinity – Douglas Farenick (Bilingual) We will try to understand what "infinity" means. Can there be more than one type of infinity? Are there infinitely many different infinities? Can we do arithmetic with infinity? How can we know such things? We will explore these questions by thinking together about them.

12. The Biology of Snakes – Christopher Somers Learn about the basic biology and diversity of snakes, one of the most interesting but maligned groups of animals on the planet. You will have the opportunity to interact with live animals and see some of their key features first-hand!

13. Math in the Real World – Peter Douglas Solve actuarial case studies using probability. You will be working in small groups to create a solution to your chosen problem. Present your findings and see how other groups approached their problem!

14. Interpreting Maps, or How Not To Get Lost – Monica Cliveti Build a map in a special sandbox equipped with an X-box camera. When it’s done, we'll turn the projector on and you will see your map come to life with colours and water patterns. In the second part of this session you’ll get to look beyond the surface, using microscopes and stereoscopes to look at the minerals and fossil elements in the rocks that surround us, while learning to identify basic fossils and minerals.

15. Diatoms – Maria Velez/ Yunuen Temoltzin Loranca Prepare your own microfossil, then, using a microscope, discover this “small world.” Using your findings, you will be able to reconstruct a past environment to put together a piece of history.

16. Introduction to the Quark Model – Garth Huber At the smallest scales of atomic matter are mysterious fundamental particles known as quarks and gluons, governed by the laws of quantum physics. These particles have fascinating properties, such as fractional charge and exceptionally strong types of interactions. One of the central unsolved problems of modern physics concerns our deepest understanding of how these quarks and gluons govern the properties of the matter. This session will give you the chance to learn about the physics of quarks and gluons and some of the ways we can study them.

17. What bird is that? – Gabriel Foley Learn how to identify birds. We will first learn how to identify the most abundant local birds, then take these skills outside and apply them. Surveying birds is one common way biologists measure an ecosystem's health, and the ability to correctly identify bird species is a crucial component of those surveys.

18. Chemistry… More Than Balancing Equations! – Allen East Learn about computational chemistry involving molecular graphics software. You will learn to operate the software which will allow you to predict the colour of blue jeans or determining if a woman is pregnant by predicting and matching the NMR spectrum of her estrogen.

19. Virtual Tour of the Large Hadron Collider – Nikolay Kolev Take a virtual tour of the biggest particle physics experiment to date. Examine how the detectors for these experiments work and how the data analysis is performed. We will discuss what the hopes are for discovering new physics, in particular supersymmetry and dark matter. We will meet (online) scientists that work at the LHC in France and Switzerland. You will also perform data analysis tasks on real and simulated data.

20. Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab: Sitting, Standing, Moving and Your Health – Katya Herman This workshop will expose you to knowledge and activities related to the health benefits of physical activity and why sitting too much is bad for your health. You will have the opportunity to wear an “accelerometer” device for a short time to measure your movement, and receive personal results. You can also measure your blood pressure and test your grip strength.

Sask Polytech: Contact Terry Seto

21. Engineering Design and Drafting Technology (EDDT) – TBD Engineering Design and Drafting Technologists participate in multi-discipline engineering projects. In this dynamic role, technologists use industry-standard software to collaborate, design, model, draft, coordinate and document projects in many disciplines, such as construction, mining and manufacturing. You will participate in a practical experience that includes using CAD software to design and produce an engineering project in a 2D environment.

22. School of Nursing Simulation Labs – TBD If you are interested in health care, you will love this session! See and experience SaskPolytech’s state-of-the-art simulation labs where health care professionals gain the necessary training to excel in their field. You will also see robotic mannequins that have the ability mimic a real patient’s response to treatment. More than 120 different scenarios, from heart attacks to allergic reactions, can be replicated by these mannequins.