SDSU Professors Wow Students with Science

posted on May 21, 2013

Students at Red Cloud High School got the chance to not only witness and conduct experiments with physics and chemistry, but to participate in them too. Dr. Larry Browning, a Physics professor at South Dakota State University, and his colleague Dr. Matt Miller from the Chemistry Department wowed students with fun and often-tangible examples of how science affects their lives.

Utilizing things like vacuums, magnets and liquid nitrogen, the two professors, who came to Red Cloud Indian School through a SETI2 grant, encouraged students to actively think about the sciences as not just a subject but as something to pursue after high school.

“There is a big need for STEM skills in the world, and we want to make sure the students here at Red Cloud are aware of the opportunities,” commented Dr. Browning after teaching students to make their own electromagnetic motors out of a drywall screw, a piece of wire, a refrigerator magnet and AA battery.

Students watched the two scientists with wide eyes as they illustrated scientific methodology and theory through quick, stimulating experiments—many ending with a bang. 

“We’re here to get people interested and excited!” said Dr. Miller 

Photo: Dr. Browning illustrates air pressure with the help of a vacuum, trash bag, and Andre, senior.
Video: Dr. Miller illustrates water tension and scientific methodology via fun experiments.
Photo/Video: All Rights Reserved ©Red Cloud Indian School / Christopher Ives