Spark Science
Lazers and Laughs with the Exploratorium’s Dr. Desiré Whitmore

Lazers and Laughs with the Exploratorium’s Dr. Desiré Whitmore

March 28, 2020

What do the Atomic Bomb and one of the first hands-on science museums have in common? The answer and a whole lot of geeky fun can be found in our interview with Dr. Whitmore. We discuss the language of science, the movie Real Genius, and our favorite Star Trek episode.

 

To find out more about the Exploratorium check out https://www.exploratorium.edu/  & follow Dr. Whitmore on twitter @DarthScience

Student’s Stories S6- Part 1

Student’s Stories S6- Part 1

March 21, 2020

How different are people's paths into science and what are students going through right now?

Each spring Spark Science host, Dr. Barber DeGraaff, teaches a science communication course where students can create podcasts for a final project. This episode features WWU student Khleo Isaguirre interviewing Biology professor, Dr. Adrienne Wang. This episode also shares WWU student Kassidy Haluska speaking to other College of Science and Engineering majors about their choices.

 

Teamwork & Teeth: A Science Story about Giant Pouched Rats with Dr. Danielle Lee

Teamwork & Teeth: A Science Story about Giant Pouched Rats with Dr. Danielle Lee

March 7, 2020

What is it like to study and handle the African giant pouched rat? How do these rodents interact with humans? Dr. Danielle Lee returns to Spark Science to answer these questions by sharing an experience that you won’t forget.

Dr. Lee was a keynote speaker at the National SACNAS Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii and you can find out more about Dr. Lee’s work by following her on twitter and instagram @DNLee5 and/or watch her TED talks on Finding Landmines Using Giant Pouched Rats & How Hip-Hop Helps us Understand Science.

 

Image Credit: Laura M. Boykin

Community & Combinatorics with Dr. Pamela E. Harris

Community & Combinatorics with Dr. Pamela E. Harris

February 29, 2020

What can we do to build confidence and community in Science and Math? What is the mathematical field, combinatorics? Dr. Pamela E. Harris, assistant professor of mathematics at Williams College, answers these questions in our season premiere of Season 6. 

 

Dr. Harris was a keynote speaker at the National SACNAS Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii and we discussed personal journeys and the joys of watching undergraduate students tackle complex problems without fear.

To find out more about Dr. Pamela E. Harris check out http://lathisms.org/ & https://www.pamelaeharris.com/

An Interview with Mars Rover Team Member, Dr. Melissa Rice

An Interview with Mars Rover Team Member, Dr. Melissa Rice

August 15, 2019

Robots on Mars! This isn’t science fiction or the future; this is now. We are lucky enough to have NASA scientist, Mars rover team member, and extremely talented science communicator Dr. Melissa Rice share her knowledge for our Season 5 finale. 

 

We talk about studying the scientists that operate the rover, the history of robots on Mars and the future of Mars exploration.

 

A special thanks to Dr. Melissa Rice (the Steve Martin of Spark Science), Janet Vertesi’s book “Seeing like a Rover” and the WWU DMC.

 

A video of this interview can be viewed at https://www.sparksciencenow.com/videos/

A Sense of Belonging with STEM Educator Dr. Bryan Dewsbury

A Sense of Belonging with STEM Educator Dr. Bryan Dewsbury

August 9, 2019

What does it mean to educate? This is the question Dr. Bryan Dewsbury asks everyday. Check out our conversation with this amazing Biologist, Science Communicator, and STEM education scholar as we discuss belonging, sharing science and TV.

 

To find out more about the film - “Can We Talk? Difficult Conversations with Underrepresented People of Color: Sense of Belonging and Obstacles to STEM Fields” go to https://www.kendallmooredocfilms.com/

 

Find out more about Dr. Dewsbury’s work at http://www.seasprogram.net/

Animating Molecules with Dr. Janet Iwasa

Animating Molecules with Dr. Janet Iwasa

July 20, 2019

What if diagrams in biology textbooks were animated and could be viewed from any angle?

 

Dr. Janet Iwasa, Molecular Animator, TED fellow and Assistant Professor in Biochemistry at the University of Utah, explains how she began creating 3D animations and the impact within current medical research. We are also joined by my friend and past guest Dr. Lina Dalberg, associate professor in Biology at WWU. 

 

I hope you enjoy hearing our attempt to describe visuals with enthusiasm. 

 

To view Dr. Iwasa's animations, visit animationlab.utah.edu

 

The Neuroscience of Cannabis

The Neuroscience of Cannabis

July 12, 2019

How does pot affect the brain? We love showcasing interesting research happening at Western Washington University and we get an answer to this question from a WWU neuroscientist who researches how cannabis affects the brain Dr. Josh Kaplan.

For more information on Dr. Kaplan’s work go to https://neurokaplan.com/

The Difficulties and Triumphs of Space Travel with Casey Dreier

The Difficulties and Triumphs of Space Travel with Casey Dreier

July 6, 2019

Are you fascinated by space travel? We are, and so is our guest, Planetary Society’s Chief Advocate, one of the featured experts on Nat Geo’s show MARS and podcast host on Planetary radio, Casey Dreier. This conversation covers the struggles involved in journeys past our atmosphere but also the collaborations created between nations as we strive towards a common goal, exploration.

 

If you want to learn more about the Planetary Society or  listen to more Casey Dreier visit http://www.planetary.org/about/staff/casey-dreier.html

 

A big thank you to Casey, a friend of the show and amazing man, for taking time in his busy life to talk about what he is passionate about.

 

Image credit: Planetary Society

Science, Music & Studies with Dr. SAMMUS

Science, Music & Studies with Dr. SAMMUS

June 28, 2019

Music is a science! Many of us see this connection. SAMMUS does. She is a rap artist, producer and at the time of this recording finishing her PhD in Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University. 

 

Together we dissect academia (those ivory towers), her path and the music industry. She is now Dr. Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo. We are big fans of everything she has accomplished and excited about everything she will accomplish in the future.

To find out more about SAMMUS visit https://sammusmusic.com/

Image credit: Zoolo Brown