Simpson hosts Iowa Academy’s Annual Meeting

Simpson College is justifiably proud of its science programs. Our students excel at research and move on to successful careers that build on the foundation they establish here.

All that was on display in April, when Simpson hosted the Iowa Academy of Science’s 125th annual meeting.

The event kicked off with the Iowa Junior Academy Meetings. More than 100 high school and middle school students from throughout Iowa presented their work. Could there have been a future Simpson graduate in that group? Let’s hope so.

Later on the first day, the College’s Division of Natural Science hosted an open house. Visitors explored the anatomy of brain cancer, made ice cream with liquid nitrogen (always a crowd favorite!) and designed structures for safely dropping eggs from three stories high. Thanks to all the Simpson student volunteers who helped out.

Other highlights of the weekend event included several exciting keynote speakers, including a NASA aerospace engineer who manages life support on the International Space Station; a well-known theological scholar who specializes in the intersection of science and religion; and a climate expert who studies the impact of climate change on agriculture.

The annual meeting also provided Simpson science students with the opportunity to present the results of their research.

Congratulations to Conor Fair, Dianna Krejsa and Brittany Gochenour, who were recognized for their outstanding work by receiving a Second Place Award from the TriBeta honorary society. Their presentation was, “Comparing macroinvertebrate assemblages in Iowa headwater streams that differ in severity of agricultural impacts.”

Simpson was also well-represented by the following student projects:

  • Kevin Hughes – “Screening for Listeria mutants which lyse within the host cytoplasm.”
  • Joe Grimley, Jesse Smiles, Stephen Henrich, Peter Rietgraf – “Designing a DNA origami self-assembled structure.”
  • Courtney Muhlbauer, Andrew Dexter, Maia Kelly, Estefan Herrera – “Building better building blocks for bigger DNA origami.”
  • Michael Frank, Courtney Sherwood, Lauren Tirado, Casey Becker – “A model of invertebrate richness on restored prairies.”
  • John Greaves and Madelyne Besack – “Effects if Wnt disruptors on Nematostella vectensis development.”
  • Emily Magers – “Overcoming tolerance to transcuteneous electrical nerve stimulation by modulating frequency.”

The weekend event proved to be an enormous success. Thanks to all the Simpson faculty, staff and students who contributed.  We proved that when it comes to science education, Simpson is where success happens.

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