Hundreds of Des Moines area high school and college students will dive into science through a series of fun and educational activities that culminate in a free lecture by Bill Nye the Science Guy at Drake University on Thursday, April 14.
The series of activities, all of which are free and open to the public, include an undergraduate research conference featuring a keynote speech by an expert in baseball statistics, an interactive STEM festival for K-8 youth, and an art gallery inspired by the sciences. Nye’s evening lecture is the 36th installment in the Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture Series.
“This exciting day of science underscores Drake’s commitment to scientific literacy and STEM education, in a year when the university broke ground on the largest portion of its new $65 million STEM@DRAKE initiative,” said Neil Hamilton, chair of the Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lectureship planning committee. “Drake is proud to elevate and enhance STEM education for students of all ages.”
From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., students from Drake, Grand View University, Hoover High School, and Waukee High School will present research in a wide variety of scientific fields. In total, nearly 200 students will showcase their work through 68 posters and eight oral presentations during DUCURS, Drake’s annual conference for undergraduate research in the sciences. The conference attracted nearly 600 visitors last year, and organizers hope to surpass that figure for this 13th annual event, which features an 11:30 a.m. lecture by Andy Andres, a senior lecturer at Boston University who specializes in the application of statistical analysis to baseball records. Students from DMACC and Johnston High School plan to tour the conference, which is held in Parents Hall of Drake’s Olmsted Center, 2875 University Ave.
From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., students in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade and their families are invited to the Drake/Metro Area STEM Festival, hosted by the South Central Iowa Region Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. The festival will be held in the Drake University Bell Center, 1421 27th St.; all youth must be accompanied by an adult. Participants will have the opportunity to proceed directly to the Bucksbaum Lecture, which is held in the adjacent Knapp Center.
At 7 p.m., Bill Nye the Science Guy will take the stage in Drake’s Knapp Center, 2525 Forest Ave. Seating is general admission and available on a first-come, first-served basis, except for a limited number of seats that are reserved for special guests. No tickets are required.
Campus visitors are also invited to explore “Planet(s),” a playful, evolving exhibition of student art in response to the sciences of meteorology, geology, biology, and astronomy. The exhibition runs April 5 through May 12 in the Weeks Gallery of Harmon Fine Arts Center, 2505 Carpenter Ave, and features work by seven student artists. The exhibition was coordinated by Angela Battle, associate professor of art and design.
In order to encourage attendance by students who are traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, Drake University is offering subsidized busing to a limited number of school groups and community organizations that wish to send students to the STEM Festival and Bucksbaum Lecture. Priority will be given to groups with financial need who commit to bringing a full busload of students. For more information, contact Sarah Derry, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plan Your Day at Drake on Thursday, April 14:
DUCURS (Drake University Conference on Undergraduate Research in the Sciences)
13th annual event showcasing science research by students at Drake University, Grand View University, and several local high schools
WHEN: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
8 a.m. Registration
9 a.m. Welcome address
9:15 to 11:30 a.m. Oral presentations / poster presentations
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch—Keynote Speaker Andy Andres, senior lecturer at the College of General Studies at Boston University, an expert in exercise physiology, nutritional biochemistry, and sabermetrics (the application of statistical analysis to baseball records)
1 to 3 p.m. Oral presentations / poster presentations
3:10 p.m. Awards ceremony
WHO: Open to all audiences
WHERE: Parents Hall, upper Olmsted Center, 2875 University Ave.
HOSTED BY: Drake University
MORE INFORMATION: https://wwww.drake.edu/ducurs
Drake/Metro Area STEM Festival
More than 30 community organizations will provide hands-on activities and exhibits for youth grades pre-K through 8 and their families
WHEN: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Bell Center, Drake University, 1421 27th St.
WHO: Pre-K through 8th grade students. All youth must be accompanied by an adult.
HOSTED BY: South Central Iowa Regional Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, featuring activities by the Science Center of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo, Iowa Speedway, DMACC, and other organizations.
COST: Free and open to the public. Walk-ins welcome, online pre-registration streamlines entrance to the festival.
MORE INFORMATION: Online at http://scstemhub.drake.edu or by email, Sarah Derry, email@example.com
A playful, evolving exhibition of student art in response to the sciences of meteorology, geology, biology, and astronomy
WHEN: April 12 – May 12
WHERE: Weeks Gallery, south lobby of Harmon Fine Arts Center, 2505 Carpenter Ave.
HOSTED BY: Angela Battle, associate professor of art and design at Drake University, and seven student artists.
36th Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture
“An Evening with Bill Nye the Science Guy”
WHEN: 7 p.m.
WHERE: Knapp Center, 2525 Forest Ave.
WHO: All audiences
HOSTED BY: Drake University
COST: Free, all seating is general admission, no tickets or reservations required
MORE INFORMATION: https://wwww.drake.edu/bucksbaum