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Kathy Wirtanen
Administrative, Facility
& Conference Assistant

P:  (540) 464-7361
F: (540) 464-7396

Center for Leadership & Ethics
VMI, Marshall Hall
500 Anderson Drive
Lexington, VA  24450

2013 Speakers and Presenters 

Please note: This page is a work in progress!
Steve Spangler :: Keynote

Steve Spangler

Steve Spangler, creator of scientific educational power-houseSteveSpanglerScience.com, earned his credentials as a teacher, author, toydesigner, and Emmy award-winning television personality.  Spangler holdsthe Guinness World Record for the Largest Physics Lesson, with 5,401participants doing a hands-on science experiment in under two minutes. TIME Magazine readers voted Steve Spangler #18 in the Top 100 Most InfluentialPeople of the Year.  Whether he’s whipping up a cool new scienceexperiment for TV shows, producing a new YouTube video, or designing a hands-onscience lesson, Steve is always seeking out new ways to create unforgettablelearning experiences that spread like a virus.

COL Thomas Baur '75, Ph.D. :: Aerobic Fitness

COL Thomas Baur '75, Ph.D.BaurT

COL Tomas Baur '75, Ph.D., is a recently retired professor of biology at the Virginia Military Institute. He earned a B.S. in biology from VMI, an M.S. in exercise physiology from West Virginia University, and a Ph.D. from Purdue University in exercise physiology.

Baur's interest in exercise science really developed during his military service following graduation from VMI. He was a platoon leader in Korea, in charge of approximately 30 men with an active mission on the DMZ. It was important that these men be in good physical condition, but when Baur got there most of them couldn’t run around the block. It was his job to get them in good shape, so that is when Baur started to investigate the best way to train them. This led him to delve into the then developing field of exercise science.

Since that time, Baur's interests have focused on the role of exercise in the prevention and rehabilitation of cardiovascular disease and the role of nutrition in exercise performance.

Amy Bernard, Ph. D., Allen Institute :: Web-based Resources for Neuroscience

Dr. Amy Bernard

Dr. Amy Bernard is the Director of Structured Science at the Allen Institute of Brain science in Seattle, Washington.   The Allen Institute’s mission is to accelerate the understanding of how the human brain works in health and disease. Using a “big science” approach, the Allen Institute generates web-based public resources, drives technological and analytical advances, and engages in basic research to uncover fundamental brain properties. She received her Ph.D. in Genetics and Biophysics from the University of Colorado, where she studied proteins involved in visual pathway signal transduction and control of cell growth.

This workshop will provide an overview of some publically-available neuroscience research and information resources available via the internet.  A few websites will be explored, and key features of each site will be highlighted, focusing on what specific types of information you can gather from the different resources.  Participants should bring their own laptops if they have them, or just come with your curiosity to watch the demonstration and learn a few tricks for how to find interesting neuroscience information online!  Extra time will be spent on custom use case explorations of Allen Brain Atlas data, upon request.

Stephen Biscotte, Cave Spring High School :: PIT Crew (Physiologists-In-Training) Program

Stephen Biscotte

Mr. Stephen Biscotte taught high school science for 10 years. He is currently a full time PhD Student in Science Education at Virginia Tech. He has spent years evaluating Problem Based Learning and Inquiry pedagogy as a means for motivating and inspiring high school science students. His program has been funded by Toshiba and Vernier grants and awards, but can be accomplished on any budget. In the past, Mr. Biscotte has been a McGlothlin Award Finalist and is currently a Virginia PAEMST finalist. Mr. Biscotte’s workshop is

The PIT Crew (Physiologists-In-Training) Program: How to Implement a Thematic, Inquiry-Based Exercise Physiology Curriculum into an AP Biology or Anatomy and Physiology Class. Within this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to explore popular exercise trends, equipment, and activities by conducting "mock" physiological research trials. Participants will find a fitness or exercise topic to research, develop a plan of study, and conduct trials to explore their research question using Vernier probes and consumer exercise equipment. The teachers in attendance will leave with a CD containing everything they would need to modify and implement the program into their own classroom.

Tony Borash :: Developing Science & Engineering Practices

Tony Borash

Tony Borash, graduate of University of Virginia's Curry School of Education, started his career as lead learner (i.e. teacher) in a high school physics classroom, and strives to promote learning within every organization he joins. He recently began to focus on leadership development and the role of learning in leading, honing those practices as a member of the community of learners in Albemarle. In his workshop, Developing Science & Engineering Practices, Mr. Borash will discuss the best strategies to develop skills to enable students to best succeed within these fields. He believes that to be successful as the next generation, students need not only to build their background knowledge in key content of the field, but also to develop and hone their skills in the active practices of science and engineering. Traditionally, curricula focus on development of the knowledge without necessarily focusing on improving the skills. The National Academy of Science's Framework for K-12 Science Education (and the Next Generation Science Standards that complement it) have identified eight essential practices that scientists and engineers do, and this workshop will focus on ways to develop these skills in our students.

LTC George Brooke, IV, Ph.D. :: An Exploration of the Electromagnetic Spectrum

LTC George Brooke, IV, Ph.D.brookegm

An Exploration of the Electromagnetic Spectrum

LTC Brooke is an associate professor of physics at the Virginia Military Institute. He received his Ph.D. from Old Dominion University where his specialty was atomic/molecular physics.

LTC Brooke is an associate professor in the department of Physics and Astronomy at the Virginia Military Institute. He received his Ph.D. in physics from Old Dominion University with research interests in the area of atomic, molecular and optical physics. His love of science began at an early age, spurred on by his interest in taking things apart to learn how they work (on occasions he could even put them back together!). In his workshop,

An Exploration of the Electromagnetic Spectrum, LTC Brooke will give an overview of the electromagnetic spectrum, from gamma rays all the way to radio waves to include x-rays, lasers and radar.

Dr. William Casebeer :: Plenary: The Amazing Human Brain, Breakout: Interactive EEG

Dr. William D. Casebeer

Dr. William D. Casebeer is a Program Manager in the Defense Sciences Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where he develops science and technology dealing with the neurobiology and psychology of training, education and influence. His twenty-four year career in the Air Force as an intelligence officer and Associate Professor at the US Air Force Academy included multiple overseas tours and deployments to Southwest Asia, where he was awarded decorations such as the Defense Meritorius Service Medal. A former Harvard fellow at the Kennedy School of Government's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and advisor in the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff's Action Group, Bill's academic background included study at the US Air Force Academy (BS, Political Science), the University of Arizona (MA, Philosophy), the Naval Postgraduate School (MA with distinction, National Security Affairs), and the University of California at San Diego (PhD, Cognitive Science and Philosophy, where his dissertation on the neural mechanisms of moral cognition won the 2001 campus-wide award for best doctoral thesis).

Bill’s research interests include neuroethics, the evolution of morality, the intersections of cognitive science and national security policy, philosophy of mind and military ethics.  He is author of “Natural Ethical Facts: Evolution, Connectionism, and Moral Cognition” (MIT Press), co-author of “Warlords Rising: Confronting Violent Non-State Actors” (Lexington Books), and has published on topics ranging from the morality of torture interrogation to the rhetoric of evil in international relations, in venues such as “Nature Reviews Neuroscience,” “Biology and Philosophy,” “International Studies,” and “The American Journal of Bioethics.”

Before joining DARPA, Dr. Casebeer was the Deputy Head of the Joint Warfare Analysis Center’s Technology Advancement Department.  His most recent intelligence assignment was as the Chief of Eurasian Intelligence Analysis, NATO Military Headquarters.

MAJ Randall Cone, Ph.D. :: The Sound of Mathematics :: Pythagorean Music and Beyond

MAJ Randall Cone, Ph.D.rcone-pic-fall2012(1)

Randall E. Cone is currently the Director of the Mathematics Education and Resource Center at the Virginia Military Institute. He received his undergraduate education at Salisbury University in Maryland, his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, and has enjoyed learning and teaching throughout his career (often simultaneously). Dr. Cone continually looks to how best to engage his students and encourage them to become independent thinkers. Randy, as most know him, loves life and music; noting that they are usually, and approximately, the same thing. During his workshop,

The Sound of Mathematics: Pythagorean Music and Beyond, Dr. Cone hopes engage participants through inquiry-based learning activities to examine the intimate and technical connections between mathematics, sound, and music from throughout the ages.

Susanne M. Dana, Blacksburg High School :: Not all Crystals are Created Equal: A Hands-on Investigation of Unit Cell Structures

Susanne M. Dana

Susanne in raleigh headshot

Susanne M. Dana earned both her B.S. and M.S. from Virginia Tech and has been teaching in Virginia public schools for 18 years. She taught at New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology and the Roanoke Valley Governor's School before moving to Montgomery County in 1999. Ms. Dana has taught math, physics, and STEM courses in addition to both introductory and advanced chemistry courses. For the past 10 years, she has designed an annual science safety workshop for student teachers using several teaching methods (inquiry-based learning, case-based teaching approach, hands-on activities) to model best teaching practices and help future teachers deal with safety, ethical, and classroom management issues. In,

Not all crystals are created equal: A hands-on investigation of unit cell structures, participants will create models of different types of crystal structures and see how geometry, symmetry and chemistry all combine to determine a substance's physical properties. Teachers will receive handouts and references for online resources to adapt to their own classrooms.

 

 

Dr. John Davidson :: The Orion Project and the Launch Abort System

John Davidson

John Davidson started working at NASA Langley Research Center in 1987.  He has a BS, MS, and PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Purdue University. While at NASA, he has developed and flight-tested control systems to improve the maneuverability and safety of high performance aircraft and conducted research to improve the atmospheric-entry phase of next generation planetary exploration spacecraft. Dr. Davidson is currently working on NASA’s Project Orion and performs analysis and trade studies to improve the design and performance of the Orion Launch Abort System. The Launch Abort System sits on top of the crew capsule and will provide the capability to quickly pull the crew away from danger if problems develop during the launch.

Major Pieter deHart, Ph.D. :: Comprehending Biological Enzyme Action Using Active Learning Simulations

Major Pieter deHart, Ph.D.deHartPA

In his workshop Comprehending Biological Enzyme Action Using Active Learning Simulations, participants will work, under the guidance of VMI cadets, to play an active role in demonstrating the importance of enzymes in biological reactions. Participants will then work in small groups to brainstorm and discuss the specific biological consequences.

Dr. deHart received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Rhode Island, his Master’s Degree from Boston University and his Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of Alaska.

Jeremy Dove, Monticello High School :: Ice Core Examples and Genetics-Paternity Testing

Jeremy Dove

A 15 Year veteran teacher at Monticello High School in Charlottesville and 2005 PAEMST awardee from Albemarle County Virginia, Mr. Jeremy Dove received his BA in Biology and Master’s Degree in Teaching from the University of Virginia. During his tenure at MHS he taught Biology, Zoology and Advanced Placement Environmental Science. During the 2012-13 school year, Mr. Dove assisted with the successful opening and implementation of a Health and Medical Science Academy. His interest in science comes from an intrinsic desire to explore and an insatiable curiosity. His goal for this workshop is to provide an opportunity for teachers and students to participate in engaging, hands on lessons in Environmental and Biomedical Sciences and consider how the content and techniques could encourage more effective teaching and learning. During his workshop, Ice Core Examples, students will examine ice core examples to explore how scientist can use ice core data to make inferences about past environmental conditions in order to model current events and predict changes in the future. Mr. Dove is doing a second workshop, Genetics-Paternity Testing in which participants will explore genetics and biochemistry by using simulated blood tests and an understanding of inheritance patterns to determine paternity for two children.

Dr. Daniel Harrison :: Renewable Energy: Building a Solar Cell

Major Daniel Harrison, Ph.D.

Major Daniel Harrison is a 2005 VMI chemistry graduate. He was awarded his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia where he studied the ability of inorganic compounds to modify the standard organic chemistry of aromatic molecules. Many of the novel compounds he synthesized are at the National Institutes of Health: Molecular Library for Small Molecule Repository to evaluate their biological activity. Daniel returned to VMI in January 2013 and is currently teaching General Chemistry and Physical Chemistry. At VMI, his research efforts focus on utilizing electrochemical methods to analyze inorganic molecules that his students synthesize, in order to determine their ability to produce usable combustible fuels from electricity. His research is a part of a larger global effort to produce renewable fuels and help develop a carbon neutral economy. Daniel originally became interested in science because of his fascination with colors, fireworks, and a desire to understand and explain our physical surroundings with concrete descriptions.

In his workshop, Renewable Energy: Building a Solar Cell, we will strive to learn and understand the fundamental components of a solar energy cell that are currently commercially available and with that working knowledge, build a simple, work solar cell.

Major Megan Herald, Ph.D. :: Mathematical Structures of Marriages

Major Meagan Herald, Ph.D.meagan_herald

Meagan Herald, an assistant professor of mathematics at the Virginia Military Institute, is an applied mathematician trained in mathematical biology, whose research uses mathematical models to understand the mechanisms of chronic respiratory inflammation. She appreciates the mathematics that are found in seemly nonmathematical mundane activities, as the author Roald Dahl once stated “the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.” In her workshop, Mathematical Structures of Marriages, Major Herald will explore the complex structures of societies by focusing on the transformations of triangles as a tool to introduce the field of abstract algebra. From there participants will be able to apply these techniques to ancient marital laws and discuss places for this type of mathematics within our society today. This workshop is based off of the UMAP unit 476 by Dr. Roger Carlson.

 

Helen I'Anson, Ph.D. :: What Do You Eat? Signals to the Brain During Development

Helen I'Anson, Ph.D.

Dr. Helen I’Anson is a Professor of Biology and member of the Neuroscience Program at Washington and Lee University, where she became department head in 2008. She earned her B.S. in Botany and Zoology at the University College of Wales and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Reading University. She received her Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Kentucky, and post-doctoral training at the University of Michigan. She now teaches courses in Fundamentals of Biology, Animal Physiology, Human Reproductive Physiology, Microanatomy and Neuroendocrinology. Helen was a principle author and is now director of the HHMI Undergraduate Program ($1 million) that was received in 2012 to enhance W&L STEM education for majors and non-majors. During her workshop, What do you eat? Signals to the brain during development., Dr. I’Anson will discuss about how the brain receives signals from the body in general and more specifically from our diet. She will discuss how this changes during the different phases of development, how eating habits have changed in Western societies and how this change has influenced human development. Dr. I’Anson will also tackle the topicof the obesity crisis that is occurring in Western cultures during development and propose ways this might be averted.

LTC Mike Krackow, Ph.D., VMI :: Biomechanics: The Analysis of Humans in Motion

LTC Mike Krackow, Ph.D.

LTC Mike Krackow, Ph.D., is associate professor of physical education at the Virginia Military Institute. He has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a concentration in health promotion and exercise science/sport psychology. Krackow received his M.Ed. in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. His academic and research interests include health and fitness issues for older adults and special populations, overweight and obesity, core stabilization, and exercise adherence.  

Krackow first became interested in science playing sports in high school. He had an interest in sports medicine and strength training. When Krackow began college, the science - specifically the anatomy and biomechanics - of how the body performed, became injured, healed, and became stronger gained his interest. Since that time, his emphasis has been centered on training athletes and patients to become stronger, and more efficient in order to improve performance and prevent injury.

MAJ Emily Lilly, Ph.D. :: Building Molecular Understanding using 3D Building Toys

MAJ Emily Lilly, Ph.D.LillyEmilyL

Major Emily Lilly is assistant professor of biology at the Virginia Military Institute. 

She received her Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) and B.A. from Smith College. Major Lilly's specialties are genetics and molecular biology.

In her workshop, Building Molecular Understanding using 3D Building Toys, participants will work in small groups with VMI cadets to use K’nex to build a double stranded DNA molecule. Participants will then take on the roles of the proteins involved in RNA transcription and work together to build an RNA transcript of their molecule. Small group discussion and completion of a provided worksheet will enhance understanding of the processes.Participants will also be provided with instructions on how to use the kit to model DNA replication or RNA translation into functional proteins. Examples of possible assessment tools will also be provided and discussed.

Tyler Lorig, Ph.D. :: The Science of Scent

Tyler Lorig, Ph.D.

Tyler Lorig holds the Ruth Parmly Professorship at Washington and Lee where he is a member of the Psychology Department and the Chair of the Neuroscience Program. Tyler received his Ph.D. in biopsychology at the University of Georgia and did post-doctoral study at Yale University. His research specialty is cognitive neuroscience and he has spent the last 25 years trying to understand how humans make sense of smells. Tyler is the author of more than 80 scientific articles, chapters and an edited book on olfactory research and has received grants from NIH, NSF, The Sense of Smell Institute and various companies involved in olfactory research. For his workshop, The Science of Scent, Dr. Lorig will explore a little of what makes smell so special for mammals and that includes humans. Why does the smell of skunk linger so long? What is the role of smell in eating? Why do people like such different smells? Dr. Lorig will answer these questions and more about this most enigmatic of our senses!

Christopher McGrath :: Physics of the Very Large and Very Small

Christopher McGrath

Oceanography and Physics Teacher, Rockbridge County High School, Lexington, VA

Christopher McGrath studied mathematics at Brown University (B.A. 1992) and Rhode Island College (M.A. 2005.) He taught in the math department at Cumberland High School (Rhode Island) for seven years before moving to Virginia in 2008. He now teaches calculus and physics at Rockbridge County High School in Lexington. In 2010, he was awarded an Olmsted Prize from Williams College for outstanding high school teaching. At Rockbridge County High School, Mr. McGrath teaches AP Calculus BC, AP Physics C (Mechanics only), and Physics for College Prep. He also coaches the RCHS Scholastic Bowl Team.

In this workshop, Physics of the Very Large and Very Small, students will explore the physics of the very small (charged particles) and the very large (universal gravitation) using iPad apps. The student activity will include time for “play” with the iPad apps as well as directed questions for the students to answer.

George R. Meadows, Ed.D. :: Makerspace

George R. Meadows, Ed.D.meadows

George Meadows is a professor in the College of Education at the University of Mary Washington. He teaches graduate and undergraduate coursework in the areas of Science Education and Instructional Technology. He also teaches a first year seminar course on makerbots and mashups. He collaborated in the development of the first UMW makerspace, the ThinkLab, and has recently developed and opened a second makerspace, the LearnerSpace, a space focused primarily on PK-12 education and the local community.

His education background includes a B.S. and M.S. in geology and a doctorate in science education. His professional background includes work in industry and research facilities as well as teaching in a middle school and at the university level, including two years as a faculty member in the Geology Department at the University of Malaysia, Sabah (North Borneo) campus. His current research interests include teaching and learning in makerspaces, emerging technology, and environmental education.

Heather Moore :: Using Patterns to Drive Guided Physics Inquiry

Heather Moore  HeatherMoore

Heather Moore teaches a two year IB Physics SL course and a physics-first introductory course at R.E. Lee High School in Fairfax County. She graduated from The College of Wooster with a degree in Physics and is the recipient of a Knowles Science Teaching Foundation teaching fellowship. Heather has always loved mathematical problem solving and logic puzzles. She had a few wonderful teachers who taught her that physics is just the real world application of those activities. Now, as a teacher, she constructs her physics courses so that as students achieve mastery in physics, they learn problem-solving skills applicable to many facets of life beyond the realm of science. She is passionate about ensuring that as many students as possible leave high school with these essential skills. In her workshop, Using Patterns to Drive Guided Physics Inquiry, Ms. Moore plans to involve participants in a cornerstone experience from her classroom. Students will engage in guided scientific inquiry to build an understanding of the first fundamental physical pattern that they will work with throughout the academic year by analyzing springs. Her objective is to start a conversation with teachers aboutintegrating the use of known patterns into the process of physics “sense-making” and harnessing productive student dialogue in the classroom.

Erika Harvey Nichols :: How to Talk Like a Scientist

Erika Harvey Nichols

Ms Nichols is an Earth Science teacher at Patriot High School in Prince William County, where she has been teaching there for seven years. Prior to that, Mrs. Nichols worked in Chesterfield County Schools for over a decade. Her emphasis in education is inclusion, featuring both SPED and ESOL students in the mainstream classroom. To meet the needs of a diverse student group, Mrs. Nichols approaches lessons with a focus on vocabulary. By incorporating key terms into discussions, activities, and demos students are encouraged to become scientifically literate while mastering the content and skills necessary to meet standards and advance through the sciences. She lives in Bristow, Virginia with her husband and their two young children. Mrs. Nichols workshop,

Science Literacy: How to Talk Like a Scientist, features a discussion and activities about how to successfully teach and learn science vocabulary. Session participants will utilize proven methods for teaching, learning, and remembering key concepts through vocabulary. Both interactive and individual methods will be presented as well as activities that suit all levels of learners.

CPT Troy Nold '07 :: What Is Cognitive Cartography and How Can It Be Used to Prepare U.S. Medical Advisors Deploying to Afghanistan and Beyond?

CPT Troy Nold, VMI '07

Medicine is a team effort, an ethos that is exemplified by the U.S. military medical advising mission overseas. Afghan physician Sayed Suhail Miri, M.D. and U.S. Army Captain Troy Nold, examine how the concept of cognitive cartography can be applied to the study and practice of medicine, with a particular focus on the role and experiences of U.S. medical advisors deployed to Afghanistan. The theory of cognitive cartography was first introduced in the classic experiments performed by American psychologist, Edward Tolman (1948), to account for the ability of rats to learn and remember the shape and orientation of a maze. He boldly argued that the metaphor could be extended to human behavior, suggesting that we too develop cognitive maps that not only situate us in space, but also within a network of personal, social and emotional relationships. Tolman discussed the consequences of adopting "narrow strip-maps" versus "broad comprehensive maps." A narrow map can lead to intolerance, prejudice and discrimination whereas a broad map encourages acceptance, cooperation and empathy. In the context of medical advising abroad, Tolman's theory implies that the better we can understand how the brain hardwires meaning, the better we can communicate, think and collaborate together in a global setting.

Troy Nold is a Captain in the U.S. Army and serves as an advisor to the Critical Incident Analysis Group (CIAG) at the University of Virginia and is a Project Manager for Research Strategies Network (RSN). He graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 2007 and currently serves in the U.S. Army Reserve as a strategic intelligence analyst for the Military Intelligence Readiness Command. Captain Nold consults on behavioral science and forensic issues relating to military medicine and national security. His research in the area of cognitive cartography and U.S. military medical advising is in collaboration with an ongoing project led by the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies (USC ICT). 

Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, Dr. Sayed Suhail Miri graduated from Kabul Medical University in 2008 and started working at Kandahar Regional Military Hospital, providing medical care for wounded  Afghanistan National  Army personnel in OR and ICU,  in the meantime I was medical advisor for Hospital Commander and assisted  USAF Medical Embedded Training Team to train ANA medical personnel. In May 2011 he began was working at the Office of the Surgeon General serving as advisor for the ANA Surgeon General. In December 2012 he moved to the United States and started working as the Cultural Awareness Instructor for the US Army in 2013.

Amol Patel :: Guided Inquiry and Mastery of Biochemistry

Amol Patel

Mr. Patel is a Biology teacher at South Lakes High School in Reston, VA. He teaches freshman Biology and IB Biology SL. Amol graduated from the College of William and Mary with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Psychology. He earned his Master’s degree in Secondary Science Education from the Curry School at the University of Virginia. In 2008, while completing his master’s degree, Amol was selected to be a science teaching Fellow for the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF). After completing the five-year fellowship, Amol remains active with KSTF as a Senior Fellow and mentors new teachers. He uses POGILs and vidcasts to flip his classroom. Amol is currently developing projects that incorporate local resources and context for students to make a difference in their community. In his workshop,

Using Guided Inquiry and Modeling to Improve Mastery of Biochemistry, he will discuss how students can learn about basic biochemistry principles with three-dimensional models. You will experience a POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) lesson designed to incorporate collaboration, critical thinking, and communication, all while tacking science standards. We will debrief the lesson and share resources, including how to access these three-dimensional models for free.

Julia Renberg :: Chemistry II: Forensic Sciences and Chemical Analysis

Julia RenbergJulia Renberg

Mrs. Renberg earned her B.S. degree in Biochemistry from Belorussian State University and M. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Philosophy of Education and Human Development. Mrs. Renberg teaches chemistry for Prince William County Public Schools and at the Summer Academy for the Early Identification Program. In 2012, Mrs. Renberg was nominated for the Franklin D. Kizer Distinguished High School Chemistry Teacher Award. In 2013, she received the Prince William County High School Teacher of the Year and the Agnes Meyer Washington Post Outstanding Teacher Awards. Mrs. Renberg believes in improving lives of others through education and views the VMI STEM Educational Conference as an opportunity to share her expertise as an instructor of the Chemistry II: Forensic Sciences and Chemical Analysis course with colleagues who are interested in utilizing the popular CSI effect in their science classrooms to increase student motivation and understanding of applied Chemistry, Biology, and Physics through inquiry-oriented lab work that solve real-world problems. In this workshop, participants will be split into three lab groups: Physics (blood spatter), Chemistry (Toxicology) and Biology (Anthropology, aka skeletal remains).

Eric Rhoades :: Using Models and Simulations in High School Science

Eric Rhoades

Eric Rhoades is the Director of the Office for Science and Health Education for the Virginia Department of Education where he coordinates programs such as the Science Standards of Learning, Mathematics and Science Partnership grant, and Green Ribbon School award program.  He most recently came from George Mason University where he was the Director of the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA). Eric is also the former Supervisor of Mathematics and Science for Stafford County Public Schools and Science Coordinator in Powhatan County Public Schools. He has taught Physical Science, Biology, and Chemistry. In his workshop, Using Models and Simulations in High School Science, in partnership with the Concord Consortium and Longwood University, the Virginia Department of Education has created a website with models and simulations that support the key science concepts for high school science.  They are great tools for students and teachers to use as they investigate important science concepts.

Dr. Nino Ripepi, Ph. D. :: Controlling Greenhouse Gases – What do we do with CO2?

Dr. Nino Ripepi

Carbon dioxide is a principle greenhouse gas and massive amounts of it result from fossil fuel combustion in the United States, which depends on this source for approximately 70% of its electricity generation. While alternative sources such as renewable and nuclear energy will help reduce emissions, effective and affordable means must still be found to control CO2. Students willing to accept this challenge will explore means of removing CO2 from combustion gases and identify and investigate options for keeping it from ever entering the atmosphere. Participants will be part of a hands-on assessment of rock core samples and the ability of those samples to act as either a reservoir for carbon dioxide storage or as a geologic seal that will minimize leakage risks. Porosity, permeability and fracture development of the rock specimens will be investigated.

Jackie Shannon :: Oyster Biology & Restoration

Jackie Shannon 

Jackie H. Shannon grew up in Winston-Salem, NC, and although her hometown is several hours from the nearest beach, she has always been drawn to the coast. This attraction to marine habitats led her to pursue her college studies at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Ms. Shannon’s broad interests have always been in conservation and restoration efforts. While earning an Environmental Science degree and gaining internship experience at the NC Coastal Federation and the NC Division of Marine Fisheries, her passion was fine-tuned to working specifically with oysters. In 2002, she joined the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as an Oyster Restoration Specialist, and has since been assisting with all of their oyster restoration efforts in Virginia. Within her workshop, Restoring and Sustaining Oysters in the Chesapeake Bay, she hopes to educate the participants on why oysters are critical to the Chesapeake Bay - both ecologically and economically, how they function in estuarine environments, and what CBF and others are doing to restore and protect this population of “keystone” species.

Steve Shumaker :: Can You Build It? Science With the Future In Mind

Steve Shumaker, LEGO Education

Steve joined the LEGO Education sales team in 2009 as an educational consultant.  Bringing eight years of successful sales and product management experience to the LEGO Education team.  He is a Missouri native who enjoys the outdoors.  Steve believes in the value of Hands on Learning and the creative thinking it helps to inspire.  He is responsible for maintaining sales and customer relationships within his core territory of Delaware, Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. 

COL Troy Siemers :: Sketch-up and 3D Printing

COL Troy Siemers, Ph.D.siemers

COL Siemers is the department head and professor of applied mathematics at the Virginia Military Institute. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

3D printing is very popular these days. In this hands-on session, we consider both the ways 3D prints are made and how they are designed. Participants will learn about the software Sketchup and design some 3D models. No previous experience is necessary.

 

 

 

Tammy Stone :: Collisions, Catalysts, & Activated Complexes

Tammy Stone

Tammy Stone

Tammy Stone has been a chemistry teacher for Rockingham County Schools for the last 14 years. Currently she teaches chemistry 1, chemistry 1 honors, chemistry II honors, and Research and Inquiry. Ms. Stone is also an adjunct professor for James Madison University in the chemistry department. She graduated from Bridgewater College and received her Master’s in Life Science with a concentration in chemistry from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Her interest in science started in high school where Stone had a really good chemistry teacher. She has worked under a National Science Foundation grant for three summers, helping hearing impaired high school students do research and inquiry to prepare them for science courses. Ms. Stone loves to find ways to connect learning with labs and activities that foster hands on/ minds on learning while still covering the standards of learning. Her goal in teaching is to integrate lessons and activities that create better thinkers and share some of her ideas of scientific inquiry with others. Ms. Stone is married and has two daughters ages 8 and 11.

  

 
 
Dr. Sayed Suhail Miri, M.D. :: What Is Cognitive Cartography and How Can It Be Used to Prepare U.S. Medical Advisors Deploying to Afghanistan and Beyond?

Dr. Sayed Suhail Miri, M.D.

Medicine is a team effort, an ethos that is exemplified by the U.S. military medical advising mission overseas. Afghan physician Sayed Suhail Miri, M.D. and U.S. Army Captain Troy Nold, examine how the concept of cognitive cartography can be applied to the study and practice of medicine, with a particular focus on the role and experiences of U.S. medical advisors deployed to Afghanistan. The theory of cognitive cartography was first introduced in the classic experiments performed by American psychologist, Edward Tolman (1948), to account for the ability of rats to learn and remember the shape and orientation of a maze. He boldly argued that the metaphor could be extended to human behavior, suggesting that we too develop cognitive maps that not only situate us in space, but also within a network of personal, social and emotional relationships. Tolman discussed the consequences of adopting "narrow strip-maps" versus "broad comprehensive maps." A narrow map can lead to intolerance, prejudice and discrimination whereas a broad map encourages acceptance, cooperation and empathy. In the context of medical advising abroad, Tolman's theory implies that the better we can understand how the brain hardwires meaning, the better we can communicate, think and collaborate together in a global setting.

Troy Nold is a Captain in the U.S. Army and serves as an advisor to the Critical Incident Analysis Group (CIAG) at the University of Virginia and is a Project Manager for Research Strategies Network (RSN). He graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 2007 and currently serves in the U.S. Army Reserve as a strategic intelligence analyst for the Military Intelligence Readiness Command. Captain Nold consults on behavioral science and forensic issues relating to military medicine and national security. His research in the area of cognitive cartography and U.S. military medical advising is in collaboration with an ongoing project led by the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies (USC ICT). 

Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, Dr. Sayed Suhail Miri graduated from Kabul Medical University in 2008 and started working at Kandahar Regional Military Hospital, providing medical care for wounded  Afghanistan National  Army personnel in OR and ICU,  in the meantime I was medical advisor for Hospital Commander and assisted  USAF Medical Embedded Training Team to train ANA medical personnel. In May 2011 he began was working at the Office of the Surgeon General serving as advisor for the ANA Surgeon General. In December 2012 he moved to the United States and started working as the Cultural Awareness Instructor for the US Army in 2013.

COL John Thompson, Ph.D. :: Making Waves

COL John Thompson, Ph.D. thompsonjr

COL John Thompson is the department head and professor of physics and astronomy at the Virginia Military Institute. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a B.S. from Tennessee Technological University. Dr. Thompson conducts research in the areas of laser physics and nonlinear fiber optics. He is especially interested in understanding the physics of random fluctuations of laser light, as it is produced and as it interacts with glass optical fiber. He has enjoyed teaching a broad range of physics courses over the course of his teaching career, ranging from introductory courses on weather and climate to graduate level courses on laser physics and fiber optics.

Making Waves will be a blend of demonstrations, computer animations, and hands-on activities illustrating the importance of the concept of waves in natural phenomena.

Colonel Daren Timmons, Ph.D. :: Making MOFs for Hydrogen Fuel Storage

Colonel Daren Timmons, Ph.D.

Self-assembly is an important process throughout materials science. Simple design strategies have led to beautiful and complex metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with wide-spread applications. MOFs are currently being explored for storage of hydrogen gas in conjunction with hydrogen-fuel cells, as well as for gas separations, catalysis, and controlled release of pharmaceuticals. In this workshop we will (1) learn basic design principles for self-assembly, (2) prepare a series of MOFs, and (3) observe 3D structures of MOFs with readily available, free software.

Dr. Timmons received his Bachelor of Science from Duke University and his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University.

COL James Turner '65, Ph.D., VMI :: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Human Brain

COL James Turner '65, Ph.D.TurnerJ

Colonel Turner became interested in the sciences as a youth when he found his first fossil while climbing a cliff close to his home. Born in Richmond, Virginia, Colonel Turner attended public schools until matriculating to VMI. He graduated with a B.A. in Biology from VMI and then attended several graduate schools obtaining a Ph.D., continuing his love affair with the sciences.

Colonel Turner did postdoctoral work in neuroscience before taking his first faculty position at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. While at Wake Forest University and later at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Colonel Turner was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Biology at VMI for twelve years. He devoted his time during part of every summer to organize and teach in the Biology Department’s undergraduate research program at VMI by taking students to his research laboratories.

After a very successful career in biomedical research, medical education, and administration, Colonel Turner returned to his alma mater. He was recruited back to VMI in 2000 as the Weichmeister Visiting Distinguished Chair in the Sciences and subsequently took the position as the Institutes founding Director for Undergraduate Research. Since 2009 he has been Professor and Head of the Biology Department.

Colonel Turner is passionate about teaching neuroscience and strives to make the classroom experience vibrant and meaningful for all that pass his way. His research interests focus on the issues surrounding neuroprotection of the nervous system from damage and disease. Colonel Turner has more than 100 publications in this area and actively engages undergraduate students in these studies.   

During his time at VMI, Colonel Turner was awarded the VMI Achievement Medal for outstanding professional accomplishments and service to VMI. He was also awarded the Faculty Mentor Award, the Matthew Fontaine Maury Research Award, Wilbur S. Hinman, Jr. ’26 Research Award, and the Brigadier General Charles F. Brower, IV Undergraduate Research Award.

Herbert Wheary :: Controlling Greenhouse Gases – What do we do with CO2?

Herbert Wheary, Senior Policy Consultant at Dominion Resources

Carbon dioxide is a principle greenhouse gas and massive amounts of it result from fossil fuel combustion in the United States, which depends on this source for approximately 70% of its electricity generation. While alternative sources such as renewable and nuclear energy will help reduce emissions, effective and affordable means must still be found to control CO2. Students willing to accept this challenge will explore means of removing CO2 from combustion gases and identify and investigate options for keeping it from ever entering the atmosphere. Participants will be part of a hands-on assessment of rock core samples and the ability of those samples to act as either a reservoir for carbon dioxide storage or as a geologic seal that will minimize leakage risks.  Porosity, permeability and fracture development of the rock specimens will be investigated.

Dr. Daniel Willingham, Ph.D. :: Plenary, Learning and the Brain

Daniel Willingham, Ph.D.

Daniel Willingham earned his B.A. from Duke University in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Harvard University in 1990. He is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1992. Until about 2000, his research focused solely on the brain basis of learning and memory. Today, all of his research concerns the application of cognitive psychology to K-16 education. He writes the “Ask the Cognitive Scientist” column for American Educator magazine, and is an Associate Editor of Mind, Brain, and Education. He is also the author of Why Don't Students Like School? (Jossey-Bass) and When Can You Trust the Experts? (Jossey-Bass). His writing on education has been translated into eleven languages.