Your field trip will include one workshop from Option A and one workshop from Option B. Each workshop is designed to accommodate up to 25 students. Groups larger than 25 will split into two smaller groups to do each activity simultaneously and then switch activities.
Please review our offerings available during the semester of your field trip and note the title of your top choices for Option A and Option B; you will need to enter these on your field trip registration form. Unfortunately we cannot offer two workshops from one option category during the same field trip.
Robotics, Automation and Plant Research
Learn about techniques used by the UW–Madison botany labs that combine robotics, supercomputers and engineering for their research on plants, crop systems and growing plants in space. Activities will focus on interdisciplinary (a mix of botany, computer science, engineering, math, etc.) applications to study plants. Small group activities that combine ideas of robotics, automation and plant research will be part of the experience.
Liquid Crystals: The State of Matter You Don't Think About, But Use Everyday
Liquid crystals are used for things like computer screens and thermometers because of their unique color-changing properties. Students will explore liquid crystals, learn what they are and where they come from, and see how they can be used as sensors to enhance human senses.
A common perception is that most mathematical questions were settled hundreds of years ago. In fact, new discoveries are constantly being made in mathematics, just like in science and medicine. We engage students in this creative side of mathematics through an interactive session facilitated by a research mathematician. While topics vary according to the expertise of the speaker, past examples include game theory, prime numbers and encryption. Any middle school or high school group is welcome.
Bioinformatics: Codes, Paths and Graphs
Animal cells are incredibly complex machines made up of proteins and other molecules. When we study these complex machines, enormous amounts of data are produced and scientists rely on computers and mathematics to make sense of it all. In this laboratory experience using yeast, computer coding and models, students will learn about medicine and biological science by taking a virtual tour of animal cells and their underlying proteins.
Bacteria in Soils
Soils contain an enormous amount of tiny living creatures. Unique bacteria are lurking in nearly every teaspoon of soil throughout our planet. Investigate the characteristics of soils and inquire about the roles microorganisms play in the ecosystem and in our health. Learn how scientists investigate soils to discovery new antibiotics.
Using Microscale Devices to Study Life
Microfluidics is the study and manipulation of fluids on very small scales. Students will learn how fluids behave at different scales and design experiments using microdevices to answer questions about how organisms grow. Students will explore applications of how small microfluidic devices can be used in research and medicine.
Junior Science Cafe**
Students will participate in a discussion with a scientist to learn about his/her work. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in a conversation with the scientist and we encourage teachers/students to prepare questions in advance of the Junior Science Cafe. This session includes a digital scavenger hunt to explore the features of the Discovery Building.
**Note: This will be automatically added as a third activity for groups larger than 50 students (up to 75). The large group will split into three smaller groups to accommodate 25 in each of our two labs and one group in the Junior Science Cafe. There will still be two 75-minute sessions but not all students will do the same two activities.