Campus News

An All Hands on Board Science Café

“Get the Skinny on Squid Skin,” “Jet-Setting Cephalopods,” and “Tenta-clizing Trivia” were some of the topics that drew scores of students into Lewis Hall on Mar. 28. The Department of Mathematics and Sciences showcased the fourth Annual Science Café under the theme “Cephalopods.”

The event drew members of the Saint Leo and neighboring communities out in full force to the second-floor classrooms and Laboratories of the building. In elegant restaurant-style, each participant was given a “menu” that contained the list of dishes they would be served in each room.

In one room, Dr. Cheryl Kozina, Assistant Professor of biology, instructed students on the range of view that cephalopods have, which is pretty vast compared to human eyesight. Kozina summed up this year’s experience as craftier than previous years; yet representative of the level of interaction she usually has with her students.

Participants were able to walk away with a waterproof phone pouch to capture pictures of cephalopods on the beach in their spare time, as well as other prizes after successful completion of tasks in each area. There were Hors d’oeuvres and cooked octopus, much to the behest of some attendees. Quite a number tried the delicatessen and went for second helpings!

Senior and biology Student Meli Shuei expressed her excitement, this being her fourth year participating in the program. She expressed great satisfaction in showcasing her own work this year while assisting in bringing the theme to life.

The buzz of the activities kept the second floor alive with excitement as the constant and eager shuffling from room to room inundated the floor for two hours. One activity creating uproar throughout the evening was a “Kahoot,” which was designed for persons to learn fun facts about the structure of cephalopods. The participants used their cellular phones and other mobile devices to compete against each other in a race to finish answering questions. Amidst the shouting and laughter, one student could be heard saying, ” I’m actually learning!”

The sentiments were reiterated by the “Kahoot” activity facilitator, Professor Cheryl Berry. She added, “ It’s great to see so many students out; being able to clear up so many misconceptions.”

Second-year faculty participant, Dr. Laura Altfeld, too expressed her encouragement seeing so many students.

“ This event allows for a more informal environment, where neither the students or I am focused on a grade, allowing a better form of interaction to occur,” said Altfeld.

The other family friendly events that took place were squid races, which allowed participants to simulate squid movements in pools in the laboratory, and also squid painting, which brought forward beautiful designs using actual octopi and squids.

Appearing very pleased with the turnout and flow of the activities was science café  Co-coordinator, Dr. Audrey Shor. Shor expressed her appreciation for having been supported by the best team, boasting that it was the most faculty involved science café to date.  She continued to say that her efforts seek to garner attention to the sciences while having fun in a learning environment. Shor looks forward to bringing lively and creative ways to present the sciences in future Science Cafes.

Whether by virtue of extra credit, love for the sciences or curiosity everyone had quite a lot to consume at the science café.

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