Scholars in the Schools

     2014 Scholars Schedule

Throughout the school year, the Pinhead Institute brings internationally renowned scientist into our regional schools. These acclaimed scientists lead labs, experiments, workshops, and field expeditions for students in grade school through high school. This program enables students from rural communities throughout the region to have the opportunity to interact with PhD scientists from around the world specializing in everything from nanoscience, to biochemistry, to field biology, to climatology, and much more.

Since its inception, Pinhead has placed over sixty scientists in our regional schools through the "Scholars in the Schools" program. During each academic school year, Pinhead Institute places internationally renowned scientists in our regional schools, including Nucla, Norwood, Telluride, Ridgway, and Ouray, reaching over two thousand students each year and exposing them to real world applications of the scientific method.

In collaboration with teachers, the demonstrations and hands-on activities enhance the science curriculum, increase science awareness among students, stimulate scientific thinking and put a human face on the scientific community.

Pinhead Institute: Scholars in the Schools   Pinhead Institute: Scholars in the Schools

Scholars in the Schools Schedule -

 

SCHOLARS IN THE SCHOOLS 2014:

January:

Dr. Christopher Crockett (Astronomer, U.S. Naval Observatory)

February:

Dr. Ron Estler (Fort Lewis College/TSRC)

Dr. John Steinberg (UMass, Boston)

Dr. Myron Cohen (Univeristy of North Carolina)

March 10, 2014 - Norwood High School:

Dr. Matthew Porteus (Stanford University)


March 24th, 25th & 26th - Telluride Mountain School, Nucla, Naturita & Ouray:

Gaelin Rosenwaks (Global Ocean Exploration)

March 27th - April 4th - Telluride Elementary School 1st Grade Classes:

Jitterbugs with Pinhead's own Sonchia Jilek and Chris Anderson!

April - Norwood High School:

Mesa Hollinbeck (AMPT - Advanced Mobile Propulsion Test)

 

SCHOLARS IN THE SCHOOL 2013:

January:

Dr. Christopher Crockett (Astronomer, U.S. Naval Observatory)

Dr. Christopher Crockett, formerly of the Lowell Observatory, now an astronomer with the US Naval Observatory, will be visiting our regional schools to introduce students to the night sky and what it can tell us about Earth's place in the cosmos. Students will learn how to find the North Star, navigate the Zodiac, and interpret the nightly motion of the heavens.

February:

Dr. Ron Estler (Fort Lewis College/TSRC)

Dr. Ron Estler from Fort Lewis College who will be working with students in Telluride and the West End about the magnificent world of magnetism. Students will fine out what a magnet is, how magnetic fields work, which metals are magnetic and which aren't, how the Earth's core relates to magnetism and much more with Dr. Estler.

Dr. John Steinberg (UMass, Boston)

Dr. John Steinberg has been a Senior Scientist at the Fiske Center (UMass) directing a multi-year project in Northern Iceland to understand the formation of property rights during the Viking Age and after (AD 874-1700). Buildings from the Viking Age in Iceland were constructed out of turf and are now buried in deep wind-blown deposits, thereby making them almost impossible to identify, except using remote sensing. Dr. Steinberg uses GIS and shallow geophysics to study settlement patterns to understand broad trenches over the landscape.

March:

Dr. Michael Otte (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Dr. Michael Otte from MIT will teach students about his research on the application of artificial intelligence to robotics, with a focus on path planning algorithms and multi-robot systems. Dr. Otte will have robots on hand to show students how he programs their "paths" and a little bit about how he uses brain waves to control some of his other robots.

May:

Pinhead Jitterbugs with Telluride Elementary School

Taught by Pinhead Program Director, Amy Laubenstein, in this program students will create their “bugs” made from CDs, wire, and circuits to make them jitter. Students then learn about adaptations, entomology and ecology in decorating their bugs and creating their habitats.

September:

Cory Wolff (Meterologist, NCAR/UCAR)

Meteorologist Cory Wolff helps students better understand our environment with his presentation "Wacky Weather and Cool Clouds." Students learn more about how weather systems work and why understanding our climate matters. Students also learn how to make a "Tornado in a Jar" and "Lightning in your Mouth" during this informative presentation.

October:

Karl Thompson (Environmental Geochemist)

Karl Thompson is an environmental consultant who works on remediation projects centered around contaminated groundwater and soil at sites all across the United States. While attending university, his research focused on ancient ocean chemistry as an indicator to understanding how early life may have responded to global scale climate events.  When not working with soil and such, Karl is also a talented musician.  He will put his love of both music and science to the test when he creates his "silly science songs" while working with our youngest Pinheads.  Visiting kindergarden and first graders, Karl will take cues from his audience, as they shout out science terms in order to create memorable silly songs to get them excited about all things science.

November:

Fantastic Frogs with Telluride Intermediate School

Taught by Pinhead Program Director, Amy Laubenstein, in this program students dissect frogs to learn more about their digestive, circulatory, and respiratory systems.  This hands-on program is customized to make correlations and connections with student studies of the human body.

December:

Dr. Christopher Crockett (Astronomer, U.S. Naval Observatory)

It’s pretty rare to get an up-close peek at a brand new comet, which is why astronomers have been so excited to watch Comet ISON spend the past year plummeting towards the sun. The comet has been gracing the early morning skies for the past couple of months and is now being flung off into interstellar space. Where did this comet (and others like it) come from? Where is it going? What can comets tell us about how we got here? When's the next one due? And what’s the chance that something like ISON could slam into the Earth in the future?

Dr. John Straub (Boston University/TSRC)

Filled with experiments, explosions, and energy, Dr. Straub's "A Lively Tour of the Periodic Table" presentation dazzles students while also explaining the properties of the elements found in the Periodic Table, taking it from a hard-to-understand poster on the wall, and bringing it to life.

SCHOLARS IN THE SCHOOLS 2012:

January:

Joe Tanner (NASA Astronaut, Retired)

Joe Tanner is a Senior Instructor in the Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He teaches a two-semester Graduate Projects course to students at Masters and PhD levels. The students work design projects in the areas of human spacecraft, small satellites, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Colorado in 2008, he was employed by NASA at Johnson Space Center for eight years as an instructor and research pilot and sixteen years as an astronaut. Joe flew four missions on the space shuttle with one being to the Hubble Space Telescope and two to the International Space Station. During his four missions he performed seven spacewalks (or EVAs) totaling more than forty-six hours. His primary duty as an instructor pilot was to train the astronaut pilots landing techniques in the Shuttle Training Aircraft. Joe started his flying career as a U.S. Navy jet aircraft pilot.

February:

Dr. John Steinberg (UMass, Boston)

*Learn more about Dr. Steinberg and Pinhead's Scholars in the Schools program here on Telluride Inside & Out.

Dr. John Steinberg has been a Senior Scientist at the Fiske Center (UMass) directing a multi-year project in Northern Iceland to understand the formation of property rights during the Viking Age and after (AD 874-1700). Buildings from the Viking Age in Iceland were constructed out of turf and are now buried in deep wind-blown deposits, thereby making them almost impossible to identify, except using remote sensing. Dr. Steinberg uses GIS and shallow geophysics to study settlement patterns to understand broad trenches over the landscape.

March:

Dr. Mark Varien (Crow Canyon Archaeological Center)

Dr. Mark Varien, Research and Education Chair at Crow Canyon, will describe to students what his archeological research in the Mesa Verde region can teach us about the deep history of Pueblo Indians and what this research tells us about the Neolithic Revolution.

April:

Dr. Christopher Crockett (Astronomer, U.S. Naval Observatory)

Dr. Christopher Crockett, formerly of the Lowell Observatory, now an astronomer with the US Naval Observatory, will be visiting our regional schools to introduce students to the night sky and what it can tell us about Earth's place in the cosmos. Students will learn how to find the North Star, navigate the Zodiac, and interpret the nightly motion of the heavens. 

May:

Dr. Michael Otte (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Dr. Michael Otte from MIT will teach students about his research on the application of artificial intelligence to robotics, with a focus on path planning algorithms and multi-robot systems. Dr. Otte will have robots on hand to show students how he programs their "paths" and a little bit about how he uses brain waves to control some of his other robots.

Pinhead Jitterbugs with Telluride Elementary School

Taught by Pinhead Program Director, Amy Laubenstein, in this program students will create their “bugs” made from CDs, wire, and circuits to make them jitter. Students then learn about adaptations, entomology and ecology in decorating their bugs and creating their habitats.

September:

Karl Thompson (Environmental Geochemist)

Karl Thompson is an environmental consultant who works on remediation projects centered around contaminated groundwater and soil at sites all across the United States. While attending university, his research focused on ancient ocean chemistry as an indicator to understanding how early life may have responded to global scale climate events.  When not working with soil and such, Karl is also a talented musician.  He will put his love of both music and science to the test when he creates his "silly science songs" while working with our youngest Pinheads.  Visiting kindergarden and first graders, Karl will take cues from his audience, as they shout out science terms in order to create memorable silly songs to get them excited about all things science.

October:

Dr. Rigoberto Hernandez (Georgia Institute of Technology/TSRC)

Dr. Rigoberto Hernandez of Georgia Institute of Technology will engage high school students in discussions surrounding chemistry and physics. From gas laws to diffusion to phase transitions and chemical reactions, Dr. Hernandez will bring some of the most complicated chemistry (think Janus particles?!) to an understandable and relevant level, relating these sophisticated concepts to students' lives. 

Dr. Andrew Berry (Harvard University)

It is amazing to think about ourselves simply as modified apes, but that's what we are. We share a common ancestor with chimpanzees dating back to about 7 million years ago, meaning that, over that 7 million period, from the time of that hairy common ancestor, a whole set of truly remarkable changes have occurred to make us who we are today. Dr. Andrew Berry, an evolutionary biologist from Harvard, will help our regional students look at fossil records to see what was happening during this transition and teach kids that ultimately the trickiest questions concerning our origins can only be answered by using genetic data -- by comparing DNA sequences of people from different populations.

December:

Dr. Joan Shea (University of California, Santa Barbara/TSRC)

Proteins are large molecules that play a number of important roles in our body. In order for proteins to function, they must adopt a specific three-dimensional structure, known as the “folded state”. When proteins do not fold correctly, they form pathological structures that “stick” to each other. When these proteins "stick" they lead to diseases such as Alzheimer's and Type II Diabetes.  Dr. Shea will show computer simulations of these occurrences and discuss new therapeutic approaches to treat these diseases.  Dr. Joan Shea is a full professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and in the Department of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

     Lodging generously provided in-kind by the following:

          Camel's Garden - Telluride, CO

          Hampton Inn - Montrose, CO


SCHOLARS IN THE SCHOOLS 2011:

January:

Joe Tanner (NASA Astronaut, Retired)

Joe Tanner is a Senior Instructor in the Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He teaches a two-semester Graduate Projects course to students at Masters and PhD levels. The students work design projects in the areas of human spacecraft, small satellites, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Colorado in 2008, he was employed by NASA at Johnson Space Center for eight years as an instructor and research pilot and sixteen years as an astronaut. Joe flew four missions on the space shuttle with one being to the Hubble Space Telescope and two to the International Space Station. During his four missions he performed seven spacewalks (or EVAs) totaling more than forty-six hours. His primary duty as an instructor pilot was to train the astronaut pilots landing techniques in the Shuttle Training Aircraft. Joe started his flying career as a U.S. Navy jet aircraft pilot.

(photo courtesy of the Telluride Daily Planet)

February:

Dr. John Steinberg (UMass, Boston)

Dr. John Steinberg has been a Senior Scientist at the Fiske Center (UMass) directing a multi-year project in Northern Iceland to understand the formation of property rights during the Viking Age and after (AD 874-1700). Buildings from the Viking Age in Iceland were constructed out of turf and are now buried in deep wind-blown deposits, thereby making them almost impossible to identify, except using remote sensing. Dr. Steinberg uses GIS and shallow geophysics to study settlement patterns to understand broad trenches over the landscape.

March:

Dr. Rosemary White (Boston University)

Dr. Rosemary White's specialty includes an interactive presentation called "The Cool Colors of Chemistry." Dr. White will answer questions such as "Why is the sky blue and the grass green?" Students will understand the crazy colors of our world through easy to understand chemistry; they'll never look at the world the same way again.

Dr. Terry Erwin (Curator of Entomology, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History)

Also known as "one of the most influential entomological conservation biologists and systematic taxonomists today," Dr. Erwin will share his knowledge about the Carabidae-Neotropical ground beetles, especially those that never tough the ground during his visit to our regional schools. Dr. Erwin's passion for biodiversity conservation will show our regional students the importance of preserving our planet's rainforests and teach everyone how museums, such as the Smithsonian, are important resources for understanding our past as well as preserving our future.

Dr. Julie Cole (University of Arizona, Tucson)

Dr. Julie Cole will visit regional classes to discuss her focus of research - utilitizing geochemical recoreds from long-lived corals and cave/lake sampling to study paleoclimatology.  Dr. Cole is particularly interested in tropical climate systems such as the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and monsoons, which orchestrate patterns of climate change over large, even global, reaches yet are poorly understood in tems of their natural range of variability and their sensitivity to global forcings and background conditions.  Dr. Cole's research also focuses on the paleoclimate records of the Southwestern US, in particular the recurrence of decadal and longer "megadroughts."

April:

Dr. Susan DeSensi Meador (formally, Boston University)

"Scientist Susan" (a Telluride favorite) specializes in "Mysterious Mixtures & Strange Solutions" where some of her demonstrations include toothpaste for elephants, rainbows emerging from oil and water, and underwater volcanoes. Not only will Dr. Meador show how chemistry is not remotely "boring," with disappearing colors and carbon towers, but kids will also learn basic chemistry concepts like density, pH and chemical reactivity.

September:

Solar Roller (Durango Discovery Museum)

The Solar Roller is the Discovery Museum's mobile science discovery center focused on energy science literacy. It features hands-on, inquiry based exhibits, including: power generating pedal cycles, infrared camera, microscope, sun-scope, model steam turbine, Solar Race Cars, Build-a-Circuit, and more. The Solar Roller engages youth in the process of scientific inquiry and experimentation in an accessible, relevant, and fun format, and gives them the tools to understand the science of energy.

October:

Karl Thompson (Environmental Geochemist)

Karl Thompson is an environmental consultant who works on remediation projects centered around contaminated groundwater and soil at sites all across the United States. While attending university, his research focused on ancient ocean chemistry as an indicator to understanding how early life may have responded to global scale climate events.  When not working with soil and such, Karl is also a talented musician.  He will put his love of both music and science to the test when he creates his "silly science songs" while working with our youngest Pinheads.  Visiting kindergarden and first graders, Karl will take cues from his audience, as they shout out science terms in order to create memorable silly songs to get them excited about all things science.

Dr. Andrew Berry (Harvard University)

It is amazing to think about ourselves simply as modified apes, but that's what we are. We share a common ancestor with chimpanzees dating back to about 7 million years ago, meaning that, over that 7 million period, from the time of that hairy common ancestor, a whole set of truly remarkable changes have occurred to make us who we are today. Dr. Andrew Berry, an evolutionary biologist from Harvard, will help our regional students look at fossil records to see what was happening during this transition and teach kids that ultimately the trickiest questions concerning our origins can only be answered by using genetic data -- by comparing DNA sequences of people from different populations.

November:

Dr. Joe Alaimo (Ouray County Veterinary Services)

Telluride students will take a trip with Dr. Joe Alamino through the long, winding, zone of digestion that allows food to magically change into energy for the body and... a by-product… produced by all creatures from the Kingdom Animalia, including HUMANS!

December:

Dr. Ron Estler (Fort Lewis College/TSRC)

When you pack lots of it into a space, or take most of it out, ordinary air turns into some pretty powerful stuff.  A famous demonstration in physics uses two metal bowls that fit together to form a hollow sphere.  When the air inside is removed, the hemispheres are almost impossible to separate. This experiment was first performed in 1654 by Otto von Guericke, inventor of the vacuum pump. Guericke reportedly achieved a seal so strong that even two teams of 15 horses each, pulling in opposite directions, could not pull the halves apart.

During his visit to our regional schools, Dr. Ron Estler will put a couple salad bowls and a vacuum chamber to the test in his own version of the classic experiment. But instead of horsepower, he’ll be using kidpower. Evacuated Sphere Tug-of-War will be the main event at Pinhead's next Scholars in the Schools program - “Under Pressure: Fun with Air and No Air.”  Besides the evacuated sphere tug-of-war we will blast off water rockets, see if we can levitate ping-pong balls, and more with our crazy chemist Dr. Ron Estler. The pressure is on!