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Young Scientist Roundtable

Young Scientist Roundtable

A monthly program designed for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and their parents to learn about exciting ideas and developments presented by professors and prominent experts in many scientific fields presented at Central Middle School. All programs are always free and no registration is required. The main presentation begins at 7:00pm and is generally followed by a "Teen Roundtable" where students can participate in an in-depth discussion and question/answer session with the speaker. Programs are recorded for playback on ED's TV and a number of programs may be viewed online.
 
2016-2017 School Year – Welcome to the 25th Season!
Mark your calendars for the next exciting season of Young Scientist Roundtable programs held at Wayzata Central Middle School (305 Vicksburg Lane North, Plymouth) (unless otherwise noted).
 
Monday, September 26
"Comet Catching: The Treasure Chest in the Cosmic Attic"
Dr. Charles Woodward, University of Minnesota School of Physics & Astronomy
 
Monday, October 24
Dr. Peter Olver, University of Minnesota School of Mathematics
 
Tuesday, November 15 – (re-scheduled from February 2, 2016)
"Honeycrisp Apples"
Dr. James Luby, University of Minnesota Dept. of Horticultural Science
 
Monday, December 5
 
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Dr. William Pomerantz, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota and teaches chemistry.
The role of organic chemistry in discovering small molecules
 
Monday, February 6
 
Tuesday, March 7
 
Monday April 17
 

Lake Minnetonka Magazine recently printed an article about Young Scientist Roundtable (August 2016):
"Wayzata Young Scientist Roundtable Program Invites Experts to Connect with Students and Parents"
 

Looking Back at Some Recent Programs:
Wednesday January 13, 2016 – "The Theory of Relativity"
Dr. Terry Jones, University of Minnesota Department of Physics and Astronomy
Albert Einstein is famous for his Theory of Relativity, but many people do not know that he actually developed two theories. The first is called the Special Theory of Relativity, which explains what happens to objects moving at speeds close to the speed of light relative to each other, but does not include the effects of gravity. Einstein later developed his General Theory of Relativity which includes gravity and led to our current understanding of the Universe as a whole.
 
Dr. Jones focused on the Special Theory of Relativity, which is surprisingly accessible to students, and forces us to think differently about time and space. He also covered the General Theory of Relativity and how both profoundly important theories are used in nearly all of our current technologies.  And he discussed Black Holes in Outer Space.  The program video is now posted online.
 

YSR - Dr. Kawaler Monday October 5, 2015
"A New Era of Discovery: In Search of Earth-Like Planets"
Dr. Steven Kawaler, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Iowa
The past few years have seen some amazing discoveries of planets orbiting other stars -- solar systems that are in some cases very different from our own. To make these discoveries possible, astronomers have developed ways to detect these planets despite the tremendous glare from the stars that they orbit. In this presentation we will look at examples of how to find planets around other stars, and sample the variety of planetary systems that populate our galaxy -- concentrating on results from NASA's Kepler Spacecraft. The next decade will see new discoveries with spacecraft in the planning stage that will probe the atmospheres of nearby planets and, perhaps, find evidence for life on one of these extrasolar planets.

Dr. Leger Monday February 2, 2015
"The Amazing World of Modern Optics"
Dr. James Leger is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Minnesota where his research group is studying a wide variety of optical techniques, including laser mode control and beam shaping techniques, spectral and coherent laser beam combining, optical metrology, solar energy optics, design of nonclassical imaging systems and microoptical engineering. Holograms were demonstrated during the Teen Roundtable. The program video is now posted online.
Dr. Michael Osterholm Tuesday, November 11, 2014
"Emerging Infectious Diseases: Looking Into a Crystal Ball"
Dr. Michael T. Osterholm has appeared several times at Young Scientist Roundtable. He is Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota and worked previously as the state epidemiologist at the Minnesota Department of Health. His appointments include the National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity and the World Economic Forum Working group on Pandemics. Dr. Osterholm had been traveling, meeting and speaking extensively about the Ebola outbreak in the Fall of 2014. He spoke to young scientists to discuss his work on this important disease crisis as it was unfolding, along with other infectious diseases of concern around the world.
Dr. Osterholm's program is now posted online: Main Presentation and Question & Answer (Teen Roundtable)
The program was first played back on ED's TV on Thursday-Sunday January 22-25, 2015. Watch for future showings.

Julian Marshall
Monday, October 6, 2014
"Air Quality Engineering to Combat Air Pollutants"
Dr. Julian Marshall, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota. According to the World Health Organization, urban air pollution is one of the top ten cases of death in high-income countries. How we can reduce those health effects and improve public health was a focus of this presentation. Dr. Marshall discussed pollutants from various types of fuels (such as fossil, biofuel), and computer modeling to reduce exposure to them. The goal was to understand whether biofuels are better for human health and the environment than the fossil fuels they replace. The discussion covered a range of scenarios from an urban U.S. locality to a rural village in India or Uganda.

Dr. John Wagner Young Scientist Roundtable was pleased to announce the return of Dr. John Wagner, who spoke on "Leukemia: The Search for a Cure" at the March 2, 2015 program. Dr. Wagner is Professor of Pediatrics and Executive Director of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Center at the University of Minnesota. The program video is now posted online. He also spoke to young scientists about "Biological Revolution: Stem Cells" on March 11, 2009.
 

Young Scientist Roundtable Programs and Videos
Online videos of selected Young Scientist Roundtable Presentations and Teen Roundtables are posted on the webpage that features the individual program information. Programs available for online viewing include:
Watch for more program videos to be posted online here on the Young Scientist Roundtable website. Check the YSR Program Archives for information and details of previous year's programs. Visit the Video Gallery for video segments of programs, the program opening, and other videos of interest.
 
Young Scientist Roundtable is on Facebook!

News of Interest:
YSR Honeybees article
The Star Tribune published a series on the decline of honeybees in September 2014, including a feature on Dr. Marla Spivak entitled "A Scientist's Aim: Save the Bees".Dr. Spivak spoke to young scientists on November 9, 2010. Watch her presentation online.
 
The new fruit is a cross between the Honeycrisp and the MonArk, according to apple researcher Jim Luby, director of the University's fruit crops breeding project, as reported in the Pioneer Press in October 2014. Mr. Luby was at Young Scientist Roundtable on October 5, 2010 to speak on "The Birth of the Honeycrisp Apple".
 
Politico published this article by Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota on September 30, 2014. Dr. Osterholm returns to Young Scientist Roundtable on Tuesday November 11 to talk about the current Ebola outbreak. He also presented "An Infectious Disease Medical Detective in a Modern World" to young scientists in November 2008.
 
Dr. John Ohlfest (Posted January 24, 2013):
Dr. Ohlfest Young Scientist Roundtable regrets the passing of Dr. John Ohlfest, who was a pioneering brain tumor researcher and a friend of YSR. In December of 2011, Dr. Ohlfest gave a presentation that was an outstanding example of service in science and to the community. The picture to the left shows him sketching gene interactions during his Teen Roundtable session with students, which can be viewed in a video. The full YSR program has been shown on ED's TV along with the program featuring his colleague and research partner Dr. G. Elizabeth Pluhar.
 
We extend our sympathies to Dr. Ohlfest's family, friends, and colleagues.

Ever wonder how a knuckleball seems to defy the laws of aerodynamics? This was just one of many interesting aspects of the February 5, 2013 program on Physics and Fluid Dynamics presented by Dr. Paul Strykowski.
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