Science Week partners with A.P.E.X. for electric event

Science Week partnered with the Ask. Ponder. Educate. [X]. presentation series to bring fun experiments and knowledge to the stage at Southern Utah University.

With presentations from the Animal Ambassadors, chemistry department, physics department and a Native American herbalist, the presentation was well-rounded.

In between each of the larger presentations, Dr. Bill Heyborne introduced creatures from the Animal Ambassadors program including Serabi, a Burmese python; Mercedes, an Argentinian black and while tegu; and Tater, a sulcata tortoise.

Heyborne described the rest of the animals hosted as “all the creepy crawly things.”

The program allows students to educate the community about live animals and enjoy the opportunity of serving through knowledge.

The first major presentation came from Dr. Mackay Steffensen, the Physical Science Department chair. With a quick series of experiments involving loud bangs, plumes of smoke, brightly colored fire and even a moment where his hand seemed to be on fire, the audience was on the edge of their seats.

The second presentation showcased the physics department led by assistant professors Brandon Wiggins and Rhett Zhollinger. Their presentation focused heavily on one of the SUU STEM center’s Tesla coils. They were quick to bring lightning to the stage, routing electricity through several conductors. The show ended with a bang, mixing chemistry and physics as they fed chemical filled balloons to the Tesla coil creating an explosion that rivaled a Fourth of July fireworks show.

The third presentation featured Bertram Tsavadawa of the Corn Clan from the village of Oraibi, Third Mesa on the Hopi Reservation. He is a tour guide for Ancient Pathway Tours and teaches people about the Hopi tribe’s traditions.

In his presentation, he spoke about botany, local herbs and their connection to technology and science.

“We’ve all had a disconnect to the earth—to nature,” Tsavadawa explained but he is certain by learning about nature, and the way that it all fits together, we will come to know more.

More information on this event and other A.P.E.X. events can be found here.


Article by: Audrey Gee