Working to Undo Climate Myths
Gordon Aubrecht (Ohio State University at Marion)
Abstract: As educators and citizens, we can help bring the reality of human-caused climate change to the attention it deserves.
Student satisfaction and perceptions of instructor support in studio physics
Jon D. H. Gaffney (Eastern Kentucky University) and Amy L. H. Gaffney (University of Kentucky)
Abstract: Student pushback is one reason that faculty may abandon attempts to make physics courses more interactive. In an ongoing effort to understand sources of that pushback, we studied students enrolled in five sections of studio-style algebra-based physics over two semesters at Eastern Kentucky University. Students completed a modified Pedagogical Expectancy Violation Assessment (PEVA) containing 16 common pedagogical activities. The activities clustered into five factors based on reported frequency of occurrence. One factor contained items related to various support provided by the instructor: encouragement, feedback, one-on-one discussions, and demonstrating how to solve problems. When controlling for student grades and the lead instructor, satisfaction on that factor was directly associated with satisfaction in the course as a whole.
Improving Writing Instruction with Peer Review in Physics Labs
Brian Luna (Western Kentucky University)
Abstract: Our research goal was to answer the question “Do students submit higher quality lab reports after they’ve critiqued one another’s reports?” In this approach, each student submitted a report to be evaluated by three of the author’s peers. The students revised their reports based on the feedback and submitted the revised version to the professor of the lab. The experimental group, consisting of two lab sections, followed these procedures approximately every three week while the control group, the other two sections, submitted a report every week. We collected all submitted reports and evaluated the quality of the reports in multiple categories using a previously established coding scheme. We looked for accuracy in writing of the abstract, quality of the experimental description and data analysis sections, correct use of units and uncertainties, and comparison in the conclusion. The data was then compared between the four sections. It was found that the final reports submitted by the experimental sections were, in most categories, comparable in quality to the control sections and noticeably better in a few. We can conclude from this that using a peer review system in conducting physics labs has potential to maintain quality in student reports while reducing workload.
Food Safety Analysis Using Electronic Noses
Creste Payne, Vladimir Dobrokhotov and Keith Andrew (Western Kentucky University)
Abstract: The Applied Physics Institute is developing a portable food safety analyzer based on nanomaterials and electronic nose technology. The operating Nose has an active air intake system, lithium battery and a low energy Bluetooth module. All the data processing and pattern recognition algorithms are executed by a built-in microcontroller, so that an external computer is not needed. The device will evaluate the composition of gaseous chemicals coming from meat, relate the concentrations of gaseous chemicals to the population of bacteria in the sample and report the product quality data to a consumer. It is generally accepted that detectable organoleptic spoilage is a result of decomposition and the formation of metabolites caused by the growth of microorganisms. It is known that post-mortem endogenous enzymatic activity within muscle tissue can contribute to significant changes during meat storage. The calibration and testing is based on simultaneous bacteriological analysis and electronic nose measurements of different meat and fish samples. The results of the bacterial analysis are collected in the form of log10 cfu/g vs. time graphs, where cfu is colony-forming unit. Time series analysis of the data yield bacterial growth rates in each environment and indicate maximal shelf life capabilities. In the future, the capabilities of the device will be expanded to the detailed analysis of steroids and antibiotics in meat and analysis of other kinds of food products, such as: vegetables, dairy products, drinks, and aromatic compounds.
Martian Regolith and Nanomaterial Composites
Clarissa Roe, Brittany Broder, Ed Kintzel, Keith Andrew, and Shane Palmquest (Western Kentucky University)
Abstract: As NASA is preparing the Orion Spacecraft for missions related to a 2025 Asteroid Capture and Lunar Orbit followed by a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s there is an intense interest in Martian related materials development. We are synthesizing several novel simulated extraterrestrial cementitious materials containing a variety of carbon nanofibers (CNF). Cement is the most widely used construction material in the world, and the development of new cements that are stronger, lighter weight, and more durable are of keen interest to the manned Mars mission specialists. Our materials research group has directed a significant effort into preparing cementitious mixtures with specialty fibers to enhance performance. We are extending these results to include mixtures with Lunar and Martian regolith simulants for robotic use prior to a manned surface landing. Real space imaging will be carried out at the NOVA Center using the Large Chamber Scanning Electron Microscope (LC-SEM). In combination with imaging, an in-situ load frame located at the NOVA Center will be used to compare relative strengths of these materials. Complementary experiments will be performed on the ultra-small-angle neutron scattering (USANS) instrument located at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to study/compare the distribution of the CNF’s within the cements.
Discovery and Genomic Analysis of Mycobacteriophage Timidus
Eura Shin (Western Kentucky University)
Abstract: Bacteriophage are viruses that lyse, or destroy, bacterial cells. There are an estimated 1031 bacteriophage on Earth; this makes them the most abundant and diverse entities in the biosphere. In addition to playing a crucial role in bacterial evolution, they can be found with growing applications in the medical, food, and fuel industries. Phage are known to take on many identifying characteristics. These can include plaque morphology (the clear spots left on a plate covered in bacteria where the phage have lysed cells), phage morphology (the appearance of the phage itself), and of course, a unique DNA sequence. These characteristics, particularly the genomic sequence of a phage, are used to group the phage into “clusters” of many other similar phages. The purpose of this research is to demonstrate bacteriophage diversity through isolation and characterization of an unknown phage. The audience will learn the entire scientific process completed by a student researcher, which included an introduction to basic lab procedure through the individually paced discovery of Mycobacteriophage Timidus. Timidus was collected and isolated from a soil sample in Morehead, Kentucky. The procedures performed on Timidus included phage purification, DNA isolation and analysis using gel electrophoresis, and electron microscopy of the phage morphology. A comparison of these results to the PhagesDB Mycobacteriophage database indicates that Timidus is likely a cluster B1 mycobacteriophage. Timidus has been sent to the UNC Chapel Hill Genomic Analysis center to be sequenced, and receive conformation of its cluster.
All registered participants are encouraged to submit a title and abstract for a poster to be displayed on Friday 13 March. Poster presentations offer the opportunity for substantive discussions with interested colleagues. Free-standing bulletin boards will be available, with up to a 3′ high by 4′ wide area.
From 11:30 to 1:30 on Friday, in the exhibitors area of the Perkins Conference Center, all attendees will have the opportunity to circulate among the posters and exhibitor booths during the midday break.
To request a space for your poster, submit the following information:
- Poster Title
- Keyword(s) defining most appropriate subject area
- Descriptive summary or abstract (500 characters maximum, includes spaces, plain-text format)
- Presenter and Co-Author Information, including university or business affiliation and e-mail address