All posts by mikestem

Associate Professor of Biology

Ahuimanu Elementary School 5 December 2017

On the 5th day of Christmas, my tutu gave to me, 5 scientists, 4 pounds of sugar, 3 lab stations, 2 second grade classes, and 1 school on the windward side…

On this sunny December 5th day, Chaminade Scientists and science undergraduate students took equipment and lab coats to Ahuimanu Elem.

IAS and the 2nd graders at Ahuimanu Elementary School

The “How Sweet It Is” lab allows students to experience science by weighing sugar, measuring dissolved sugar and making a super saturated solution of sugar. Using lab equipment and techniques that real scientists use on a daily basis made the students feel like real scientists. The goal of this lesson is to make students aware of how much sugar they unknowingly consume. By reading the nutrition facts label and being more aware of what is in their drink and food will allow them make healthy choices. Drink water!!

At the end of our visit we got hugs from the students, some asked if we could come back tomorrow, and a some said “This is the best day of my entire life!”

The new scientists of Ahuimanu Elementary School with the IAS team

Please click here to visit the Ahuimanu Elem Photo Gallery

Myron B Thompson Academy 1 December 2017

On Dec 1st, 6th graders from Myron B Thompson Academy discovered that learning is fun and exciting when you do it in a newly renovated laboratory, using amazing equipment, and when your instructors are super cool Chaminade University science students.

IAS with the 6th grade scientists of Myron B. Thompson Academy

During their “Gene Genius” module, students used colored beads to help them understand how DNA codes instructions for the diversity of life. They also extracted their own DNA, and were able to keep a sample of it in a small glass vial.

Their visit was capped off with a campus tour to see other classroom settings, the library and student center. While touring our research facility they were very excited and proud when they noticed that researchers used the same type of equipment they used in their lab activity.

Chaminade science undergraduates and Ho’oulu scholar recipients served as instructors and role models for their younger peers, demonstrating service and a path toward higher education.

Please click here to visit the Myron B Academy Photo Gallery

IAS at Ali`iolani Elementary School 28 & 30 November 2017

On Nov 28 and 30, Scientist and students from Chaminade University visited 2nd graders at Aliiolani Elem.

Our “Germs On Me” module turned ordinary kids into “Germ Hunters”.

IAS with the 2nd graders at Ali`iolani Elementary School

Students and teachers participated in a fun activity to see how quickly a “germ” could spread from one person to the rest of the class in just a few minutes. In their experiment, a lot of kids got “infected” by the pretend germ. They discussed what to do when you get sick, and ways to prevent the spread of germs to friends and family.

Students also performed a hand washing experiment to see the effect of washing on the amount of bacteria on a their teacher’s hand. In their experiment, hand washing removed almost all the bacteria that was originally there.

The “Germ Hunters” explored their classroom to discover the living microscopic world they live in by taking samples from their environment, culturing (growing) it on an agar dish, then observing and describing what grew. They were introduced to microbiology and had a great time using microscopes.

Please click here to visit Ali`iolani Photo gallery

IAS at Lunalilo Elementary 14 November

On Nov 14, the Lunalilo Elem school library was transformed into a sugar laboratory.

I Am a Scientist at Lunalilo Elementary school

Dressed in crisp white lab coats, 2nd graders participated in a sugar-science event with their parents.

  • They weighed, measured, mixed, and poured sugar.  They used top loading balances, vortex mixers, test tubes, graduated cylinders, and hydrometers to understand properties of solutions and to see just how much sugar they consume in their favorite drink.
  • They discovered a bottle of apple juice contains more sugar than a can of cola.
  • Read the nutrition facts label and make wise & healthy choices.
I Am a Scientist at Lunalilo

Please click here to visit the Lunalilo photo gallery

I Am a Scientist at Lunalilo

Stevenson Middle School 8th graders

On November 17, 8th graders from Stevenson Middle School visited our campus.  They took a campus tour to see what Chaminade University has to offer an undergraduate student.

8th graders of Stevenson Middle School visit the Chaminade University campus

They also experienced what its like to do science in our teaching laboratories in Henry Hall.

Stevenson Middle School 8th graders and IAS

Chaminade’s Ho’oulu Scholars instructed the 8th graders in a Molecular Biology lab activity.   The students used colored beads to better understand the DNA code, and extracted their own DNA.

Click here to visit the Stevenson Middle School IAS photo gallery

Girl Scout STEM Fest at the Pacific Aviation Museum

I am a scientist with the Girl Scouts of Hawaii hosted their annual Girl Scout STEM Fest at the Pacific Aviation Museum

Girl Scouts of Hawaii hosted their annual Girl Scout STEM Fest at the Pacific Aviation Museum.  STEM Fest offers a diverse opportunity for Scouts to experience scientific exploration and meet female professionals in the STEM field.

Chaminade University’s IAS program brought real scientists, Dr. Katelynn Perrault, Assistant Professor of Forensic Science, a Medicolegal Death Investigator with the Hawaii Medical Examiner’s office, and a research scientist at Chaminade University, along with their equipment, to let Scouts experience how much fun it is to learn and work in a research lab.  The equipment we use everyday help us do our job, but it’s also super cool and amazing, and we wanted the Scouts to experience that.

Scouts learnt about chemistry, density, solubility, physics, and math all while having fun.  They used top loading balances, graduated cylinders, pipettors & serological pipets, micro-pipettors & pipet tips, centrifuge tubes, vortex mixers and a centrifuge.  To experience the wonders of science using real scientific equipment with real scientists was fun and enlightening for the Scouts.

Click here to visit the Girl Scout STEM Fest gallery

IAS at Astronaut Lacy Veach Day of Discovery, October 28, 2017

Chaminade science students shared their passion for learning with the younger generation at the Astronaut Lacy Veach Day of Discovery at Punahou School.

Ho’oulu scholars helped participants use Forensic Science techniques that they might see being used on TV or in movies. Participants made their own 10 print finger print card and learnt about finger print analysis and discovered how each finger print is unique. They also dusted and lifted latent finger prints from everyday objects to see how we leave our “prints” on everything we touch.

Environmental Studies students hosted two Ecology workshops. Participants learnt about the Ecology, Biology and Conservation of Hawaii’s Anchialine ponds. They also made a sustainable brackish habitat with ‘Opae’ula. By observing and learning from keeping their ‘Opae habitat healthy, they will continue to learn about nutrient, water, and life cycles that affect their ‘Opae.

Hokulani Elementary School 18 October 2017

Hokulani’s library was transformed into a microscopy research facility. Fourth graders dressed in their lab coats learned microscopy and histology techniques to help them discover a whole new world around them.

Using magnifying glasses, dissecting and compound microscopes they got to see how different scientific tools are used, and how each are useful in their own way.

They also learned how to prepare their own specimen slide and looked at it under a microscope.

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Microscope slides prepared by Hokulani Elementary School scientists.

They discovered that pond water contains living organisms not easily seen with their unaided eye.

Click here to visit the Hokulani Elementary School photo gallery

Wailua Elementary School, 6 October 2017

Wailua Elementary School 5th graders were transformed into Molecular Biologists as they put on their lab coats, safety glasses, and gloves.

IAS at Waialua Elementary School

Using micro pippetors, tubes and chemicals, they extracted their own DNA from their cheek cells.

IAS at Waialua Elementary School

It was exciting to see how much DNA each scientist was able to collect into a small glass vial that they got to keep.

To better understand the DNA code, the young scientists created their own DNA name sequence using colored beads to represent each of the four nucleotides.

“This is the best day ever,” was what one student scientist exclaimed.

Click here to visit the Wailua Elementary School photo gallery

IAS at Waialua elementary SChool