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Thursday, September 03, 2009

USI's traveling laboratories on display September 10

News and Information Article Photo
Two USI STEM trucks will be on display on Thursday, September 10 on the front lawn of Bosse High School.
Photo Credit:
LaVerne Jones
Contact for more information:
Kathy Funke
Director, News & Information Services
Two trucks carrying high-tech scientific equipment will be showcased at a news conference at 2 p.m. on Thursday, September 10 on the front lawn of Bosse High School, 1300 Washington Avenue in Evansville.

The trucks are part of the University of Southern Indiana's initiative to advance the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in a nine-county area.

USI President Linda L. M. Bennett and Dr. Scott Gordon, dean of the Pott College of Science and Engineering, will preside at the news conference, along with students and teachers who are participating in STEM workshops and activities.

Dr. Gordon called the STEM trucks transformational for teachers and students in southwest Indiana. "The equipment will allow teachers and students the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art instrumentation which scientists use in research laboratories and science- and technology- based business and industry," Dr. Gordon said.

Teachers can schedule the trucks through the STEM Resource Center at USI. They will travel to schools in Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Warrick counties.

The trucks will be equipped with Spec 20 instruments that measure the intensity of light as it passes through a substance. These instruments have application in aerospace, pharmaceutical, paint, and other industries. Gas chromatographs, also on the trucks, will allow students to identify individual substances in a test sample. Real-world applications include drug detection, fire investigation, or environmental analysis. Equipment such as gel electrophoresis apparatuses used for the separation of DNA and RNA, calculators, a variety of probes, microscopes, and laptop computers also will provide opportunities for students in southwest Indiana to use the tools scientists use.

Tours of the trucks will be available immediately after the brief program.

Funding for the trucks and equipment comes from the WIRED (Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development) initiative, the Indiana STEM Resource Network , the USI STEM Resource Endowment, and the Pott College of Science and Engineering at USI.

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