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CSI (Campus Science Investigation) Trent

On Monday, May 17th, students will spend the afternoon at the Symons campus of Trent University participating in CSI (Campus Science Investigation) Trent.  The afternoon will be divided into three periods and students will rotate between different activities during those three periods.  In one period (not necessarily in this order) students will participate in a hands-on workshop of their choosing, selected during the online registration process through YSC.  During another period students, with the aid of a Trent group leader, will take themselves on a guided tour of the Science Facilities at Trent, collecting clues along the way so that they can decipher the mystery phrase.  In a third period, students will listen to an exciting presentation by the Canadian Space Agency who will bring the logistics of space travel (i.e., how do you eat in space) to our very own Wenjack Theatre.

Whatever your interest, the afternoon promises to be educational and fun!

Remember, you first have to sign up for a workshop during online registration.  All efforts will be made to accomodate your first or second choice.
Activity 1: Reptile (and other animal) Mania
Did you ever want to kiss a frog? Here’s your chance. In this hands-on workshop, you’ll play with all those creatures that most people love to hate - snakes, geckos, salamanders, toads, frogs - even a giant cockroach! Come learn how they adapt.
Activity 2: Forensic Entomology
Decomposers are organisms that break down organic matter, like dead animals. Grab your forceps and collect some previously preserved decomposers (maggots). Then identify the decomposers and figure out how long the animal has been dead (not for the squeamish).
Activity 3: Owl Pellets
Owl pellets (regurgitated bones, fur, etc.) are useful tools to determine the diversity and abundance of small prey (rodents, snakes, birds, moles and shrews) in their territory. Sift through these pellets and identify what’s in them. Then use the results to construct an ECA (ecological community assessment). Figure out if it’s a healthy community.
Activity 4: Bone Identification
What do you think you can learn from animal bones? Lots! Explore features of skulls from a diverse array of animals. See how they relate to each other and how they fit into the environment.
Activity 5: Cultivate your Rooftop – Urban Agriculture and Rooftop Gardens
Trent is the only university in North America where vegetables are grown on the roof. Take a tour of the garden, help plant some seeds and discuss some of the opportunities to cultivate food and community where you live and work. This is a hands-on workshop that will explore the many ways we can work together, get dirty and eat good food.
Activity 6: Aquatic Insect Identification
The immature stages of insects that live in streams tell us a lot about the condition of the water they inhabit. Use a microscope to identify these insects, match them up with their terrestrial adults and construct a rapid bio-assessment protocol to determine how healthy the stream is.
Activity 7: Camp Kawartha Environment Centre
Using innovative green architecture, the Camp Kawartha Environment Centre is Canada’s most sustainable building. Tour the building and learn about the green initiatives used to construct this ‘House of Straw’. Then investigate some models (wind turbines or Lego cars) that utilize alternative energy sources.
Activity 8: Everyday Chemistry
Why do you think we throw salt on sidewalks in the winter, why lemons taste so sour or why plastics are so flexible, yet so durable? Have fun examining chemistry in the world around us, including common examples in our home, such as acids and bases, freezing points, and common materials. Learn some new chemistry and make some great stuff during this fun-filled, hands-on chemistry workshop.
Activity 9: CSI Trent
Ever wanted to dig through a crime scene to see what you can find? Discover forensic investigation at Trent University’s Crime Scene House. Weather permitting, students can dig at an outdoor crime scene to unearth clues to the crime. Study the crime scenes in the house to determine what happened at the old farmhouse.
Activity 10: Fingerprinting Furor
Learn about the various techniques that are used to develop a fingerprint at a crime scene. Fingerprint your friends and yourself using several different police fingerprinting techniques. Learn what household items can also be used for fingerprinting. Then take home a set of your own prints!
Activity 11: Forensic Anthropology
Ever wonder what a human skeleton can tell you about an individual? Now you don’t have to watch the ‘Discovery Channel’ or ‘Bones’ to find out. Check out these skeletons and learn to determine their age, sex, height and state of health at time of death.
Activity 12: The Night Sky
Thought you could only see stars at night? Not when you can enter our portable planetarium. See and learn about the constellations. Play with some telescopes and, if the weather permits, use them to view the sun in broad daylight.
Activity 13: From Babies to Blood Pressure
Have fun and experiment a bit with some of the interesting sim (simulation) patients (one is pregnant) in the Nursing learning lab. Check out how things work and how your body is doing today.
Activity 14: Experimenting with the Super-Cold
What do you think happens to objects as they get colder, ... and colder, ... and colder, ... far below the freezing point of water? This hands-on workshop will help answer this question. Using nitrogen, which makes up 80% of air and becomes a liquid at -273oC, students will investigate the properties of objects (such as a rubber hose, or a flower) when they get very, very cold.
Activity 15: Robot Forensics - Fleming College (Peterborough)
Experience how state-of-the-art robots are aiding in forensics. Extract DNA from samples and match them to the culprit, just like they do in real crime labs.
Activity 16: Alternative Wastewater Treatment - Fleming College (Lindsay)
Learn how the Center for Alternative Wastewater Treatment (CAWT) uses plants rather then chemicals to clean waste water. Get your hands dirty as you help plant vegetation in the outdoor ponds.
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