Curriculum

Paems program

The 2014 PAEMS program will consist of five academic modules:

  1. Astronomy
  2. Biology
  3. Chemistry
  4. Environmental Science
  5. Mathematics

The Astronomy module will focus on astronomy as both an example of scientific methodology and a launching pad to relativity and cosmology. The Biology module will explore concepts in modern genetics involving DNA isolation and protein purification.  Techniques used will include gel electrophoresis and protein chromatography.

The Mathematics and Astronomy modules will generally meet in the mornings, while the Biology and Chemistry modules will usually be taught in the afternoons. Although the PAEMS camp will consist of approximately 22 students, your class sizes will be even smaller in these four modules since students will be divided into two smaller groups of approximately equal size. The Environmental Science module will be taught primarily in the evenings to all students simultaneously. By the end of the camp, everyone will have attended all modules.

Full-time faculty from the Natural and Life Sciences Division of Georgetown College will teach each course. They will be assisted by four college students (majoring in appropriate disciplines) or recent graduates who will serve as teaching assistants during the day and as resident assistants in dormitories at night. With nine faculty/assistants for approximately 22 students, each student will receive a significant amount of individual instruction.

The Chemistry module will include both synthesis of inorganic and organic compounds/mixtures and an introduction to chemical separation and identification methods such as thin layer chromatography, ultraviolet/visible spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. In the Environmental Science module, students will be exposed to ecological field techniques as they learn how to characterize and monitor both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The Mathematics module will introduce students tothe art of mathematics through the study of fractals.  Using properties such as pattening and self-similarity, we will explore fractals in nature Рfrom snowflakes and trees to coastlines and lakes Рwith hands on approach. Extensive laboratory involvement in most modules will permit the students to develop laboratory skills using state-of-the-art equipment to perform actual experiments where data will be collected and analyzed.

Classroom activities will be complemented by a variety of field trips and opportunities to see math and science in practice. In 2013, our destinations included a trip to the Hagyard Davidson McGee Equine Medical Institute, the Kentucky Science Center, the Cincinnati Zoo, and a trip to the Red River Gorge. Similar activities are being planned for this year.

Modules

Astronomy Module

Dr. Jonathan Dickinson, Associate Professor of Physics
In the Astronomy module, we will look to the stars to learn how to learn secrets from our universe. Following in the steps of ancients, we will employ the methodology of science, making observations and measurements of our solar neighborhood. Then, leaving behind traditional conceptions of reality, we will explore relativity and cosmology.

STREAM1999Biology Module

Dr. Tracy Livingston, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
In the Biology component of the program, you will introduce the gene for green fluorescent protein into bacteria, resulting in bacterial colonies that fluoresce bright green. Furthermore, we will purify and concentrate this protein using hydrophobic interaction chromatography. We will also perform a DNA fingerprinting experiment that will involve cutting DNA samples with enzymes, followed by comparison of the DNA using gel electrophoresis. Finally, each student will isolate and extract their own DNA from cheek cells inside their mouth.

Chemistry Module

Dr. Meghan Knapp, Associate Professor of Chemistry
The Chemistry module will include both synthesis of inorganic and organic compounds/mixtures and an introduction to chemical separation and identification methods such as thin layer chromatography, ultraviolet/visible spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.zoo1998Environmental Science Module

Environmental Science Module

Dr. Rick Kopp, Professor of Biological Sciences
The Environmental Science module will introduce you to global environmental issues and then focus on techniques used by field biologists to describe and monitor both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Students will utilize plot sampling techniques to characterize the tree community of an old growth forest remnant in Northern Kentucky. Additionally, students will measure both physical and biological parameters in a stream ecosystem to see how aquatic ecologists can describe and evaluate these sensitive habitats.

Mathematics Module

Dr. Kristine Roinestad, Assistant Professor of Mathematics
The mathematics module will introduce students to the art of mathematics through the study of fractals. Using properties such as patterning and self- similarity, we will explore fractals in nature – from snowflakes and trees to coastlines and lakes – with a hands-on approach.

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