STEM Tour Options Thursday November 14th

You will Select two tours one at 1:30 and one at 3:30

1:30 Tours

Click on the title to see description

The Barott Lab studies how tropical corals and other marine species interact with their surroundings. Our research spans multiple scales, from molecular and cell biology to marine ecology. Understanding how corals work at the cellular level will help us predict how reefs will respond to an ocean that is increasingly affected by human activity and climate change. This tour will showcase the different approaches we use, including fluorescence microscopy and molecular biology tools. Visitors will get to meet scientists with various experience levels, as well as our study organisms: corals, anemones, and their symbiotic micro algae.

A tour of the dental school will include information and a visit to the first and second year pre-clinical lab; the virtual reality SimoDont technology and the different specialities offered at Penn Dental Medicine.

....we engineer, build, buy and maintain ships, submarines and combat systems that meet the Fleet's current and future operational requirements. Possible topics: Virtual Reality Used for Training on Ships, Superconducting HTS Lab, High Pressure Test Vessel/Acoustic Testing, Anechoic Chamber, Submarine Life Support, Oil Pollution Abatement Equipment, Advanced Data Control Systems (ADCS), Carrier Navigation Systems

The McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory is a multidisciplinary facility that houses 13 different labs. Using techniques such as biomechanics, tissue engineering, histology, and imaging, our lab studies a wide range of musculoskeletal disorders that affect our bones, cartilage, muscles, and tendons.

We have a strong intuition of friction. It's how we don't fall when we walk and are able to hold objects. But we don't actually understand all the details of how friction works. In our lab, we zoom in on the nanoscale to try to get at the interactions governing friction and adhesion. We're able to look at what is happening when you try to slide or separate very small objects 1000x smaller than a human hair. Our work helps build a better understanding of friction for fundamental science and for practical applications such as car engines.

Inspired by the Search & Rescue Dogs that responded following the attacks on 9/11, the Penn Vet Working Dog Center opened on September 11, 2012 and serves as a national research and development center for detection dogs. With the United States national security under constant threat from attacks, detection dogs are still the best tool that we have to detect and mitigate potential threats. Search dogs are also critical for locating victims of natural and man-made disasters The special scenting ability of dogs also allows them to serve in important ways such as medical or conservation detection. As pioneers in the working dog field, our goal is to increase collaborative research and the application of the newest scientific findings and veterinary expertise to optimize the performance of lifesaving detection dogs.

Exyn Technologies is a robotics start-up creating autonomous aerial robots for data acquisition in GPS-denied indoor environments. On the tour of the Exyn Technologies office, you'll learn about micro aerial robots, see our robot fly autonomously indoors in our office around an obstacle course and learn about how it is able to do that! Creating a robot involves mechanical design, electronics, computer science, coding and robotics. You'll meet some of the people who have worked together to design and build this system and see the tools we use to create our robots. Come and learn about aerial robots and see first-hand what its like to work as an engineer.

DNA is packaged into chromatin-a complex of both the DNA and closely associated proteins. This packaging mediates chromosome segregation, telomere protection, genome integrity, and other essential, conserved cellular processes. However, many chromatin proteins are strikingly unconserved and evolve rapidly between even closely related species. This paradox of conserved cellular processes supported by fast-evolving chromatin proteins suggests that maintaining essential cellular processes requires recurrent innovation. The biological significance of this innovation is virtually unexplored. The Levine Lab integrates evolutionary, cell biology, chromatin biochemistry, next generation RNA and DNA sequencing, and classical genetics to study these innovations using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism.

We study nerve regeneration and learning in zebrafish. On the tour, you'll have the opportunity to see baby zebrafish under the microscope - we'll show you their beating heart, as well as some brain cells that express green fluorescent protein (which is a fancy way to say that they glow green in the dark). In most of our experiments, we use a laser to cut these green nerves and then film the nerves as they regrow. We'll show you how this laser works and some movies of nerves regrowing. If we have time, we'll also show you how we use high speed cameras to film zebrafish behavior in our learning studies. At the end of the tour, we'll bring you the into facility where all of our adult fish live - it's basically a giant aquarium.

3:30 Tours

The General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory is an interdisciplinary academic and research center within the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. The lab is a premier robotics incubator that fosters collaboration between students, research staff and faculty focusing on fundamental research in vision, perception, control systems, automation, and machine learning..

The Rehab Robotics Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, led by Dr. Michelle Johnson, is dedicated to the design, development and therapeutic use of novel, affordable, intelligent robotic and mechatronic systems. We use these systems and our understanding of neuroscience to investigate brain plasticity and motor function after non-traumatic brain injuries, for example in stroke survivors or persons diagnosed with cerebral palsy. By examining the underlying causes of limb impairment after neural disease, injury, or cerebral accident, the lab works to discover effective methods to expedite a robust functional recovery. Translating research findings into the development of extremely affordable therapeutic robots that are able to provide effective neurorehabilitation. The tour in our lab will give an overview of our systems and why we do what we do as well as a chance to interact with doctoral students in engineering. Because our systems are designed to interact with people, we will do our best to allow students to interact with the systems directly.

Join us for a unique behind-the-scene tour of the laboratories at the Penn Museum's Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials. In our labs, we use a range of scientific techniques to interpret the human past in an interdisciplinary context which links the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. You will learn about the research we are actively conducting on animal remains (zooarchaeology), plant remains (archaeobotany), human skeletal analysis (bioarchaeology) and the analysis of ceramic materials.

Take a tour of the research lab with Dr. Zila Martinez-Lozada. Dr Martinez-Lozada is a post-doctoral research associate who works in the neuroscience field.

The McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory is a multidisciplinary facility that houses 13 different labs. Using techniques such as biomechanics, tissue engineering, histology, and imaging, our lab studies a wide range of musculoskeletal disorders that affect our bones, cartilage, muscles, and tendons.

We have a strong intuition of friction. It's how we don't fall when we walk and are able to hold objects. But we don't actually understand all the details of how friction works. In our lab, we zoom in on the nanoscale to try to get at the interactions governing friction and adhesion. We're able to look at what is happening when you try to slide or separate very small objects 1000x smaller than a human hair. Our work helps build a better understanding of friction for fundamental science and for practical applications such as car engines.

The Quattrone Nanofabrication (QNF) Facility supports nanoelectronics, nanomaterials development and integration, soft matter, microfluidics and MEMS/NEMS. .....our mission is to enable research and development in a number of areas. ......Our core endeavors are to support teaching, research, service and commercialization at the micro- and nanoscale. QNF staff operates a 10,000sq.ft. cleanroom with leading-edge equipment capable of electron-beam and optical lithography, physical and chemical vapor deposition, dry and wet processing, metrology, and device characterization. During this tour students will see a demo of fabrication inside the clean room. Gowning up will be necessary.

Tour the Pennovation center with company founders Brandon Kao and Georgia Griggs of Avisitech. The Pennovation Works is a distinctive blend of offices, labs, and production space developed by The University of Pennsylvania to link the intellectual and entrepreneurial initiatives necessary for advancing knowledge and generating economic development.

Exyn Technologies is a robotics start-up creating autonomous aerial robots for data acquisition in GPS-denied indoor environments. On the tour of the Exyn Technologies office, you'll learn about micro aerial robots, see our robot fly autonomously indoors in our office around an obstacle course and learn about how it is able to do that!Creating a robot involves mechanical design, electronics, computer science, coding and robotics.You'll meet some of the people who have worked together to design and build this system and see the tools we use to create our robots.Come and learn about aerial robots and see first-hand what its like to work as an engineer.

DNA is packaged into chromatin-a complex of both the DNA and closely associated proteins. This packaging mediates chromosome segregation, telomere protection, genome integrity, and other essential, conserved cellular processes. However, many chromatin proteins are strikingly unconserved and evolve rapidly between even closely related species. This paradox of conserved cellular processes supported by fast-evolving chromatin proteins suggests that maintaining essential cellular processes requires recurrent innovation. The biological significance of this innovation is virtually unexplored. The Levine Lab integrates evolutionary , cell biology, chromatin biochemistry, next generation RNA and DNA sequencing, and classical genetics to study these innovations using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism.

Technical Talk Sessions

Sessions that are offered at 9:00 AND 9:45

Click on the title to see description

Interested in Engineering? Want to understand what the major is like? During this session you will meet a panel of engineering students. You can hear about their majors and ask them questions. 9:00am session

    Alexa Murray- Systems Engineering, class of 2020
    Fahmida Lubna- Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, class of 2022
    Audrey Walsh- Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, class of 2020
    Hannah Bollar- Digital Media Design/Computer Graphics and Game Technology, class of 2020
9:45am session
    Ruby Washington, Bioengineering, class of 2022
    Irene Zhang, Computer and Information Science/Sociology, class of 2021
    Nidhi Kapate, Materials Science and Engineering, class of 2020
    Aleena Brown, Computer Engineering, class of 2020

imagiLabs makes coding fun and relevant! We are building a community for girls to get creative with mobile-first tools and accessories customisable through programming. Our first product, the imagiCharm is a programmable keychain accessory. Powered by gamification, we aim to train and prepare tomorrow's leaders who will shape the future of innovation. In our app you learn a real programming language, Python, in a gamified, visual and creative way. You also have the opportunity to share your coding projects, collaborate with others, get inspired and express yourself with code! In this session you will hear about the story behind starting imagiLabs and the challenges and rewards that come with running an early stage startup as well as get access to the private beta version of the imagiLabs app and get started with coding in Python on the platform.

Recent climate reporting paints a bleak picture of our future world with threats to public health, the global economy, and even cultural traditions. With such disastrous impacts, why are we waiting to act? This talk will explore the impacts of climate change across the United States, why the human brain is wired to ignore those impacts, and what we can do to overcome those barriers. Basic climate science will be discussed, but prior understanding is not required.

This talk will be geared towards alternative research careers, such as working in innovation and startups. This talk will also cover the differences between working as an academic researcher versus working in a traditional job, or working in a small company like a startup. Brianna Wronko is the Founder & CEO of Group K Diagnostics (GKD), a biotechnology innovator aiming to overhaul the diagnostic process for both patient and caregiver, where she is responsible for the technological development and vision of the company. A bioengineer by training, Wronko has more than six years of experience in microfluidics and immunology research, startups, and the FDA approval process. Wronko sits on the Philadelphia Startup Leaders Board, was named a 2018 Philadelphia Business Journal Woman of Distinction and received recognition as the 2018 Spring PACT TiE Top Pitch Event Winner and the 2018 Stellar Startup Awards technology category winner.

One of the biggest problems facing the medical field today is the need to repair and regenerate damaged tissues and organs. The field of tissue engineering aims to address this unmet medical need by designing treatments for arthritis, heart attacks, cancer, and more. Tissue engineers combine cells, materials, and drugs to create innovative treatments. This presentation will address the following questions:

    What is tissue engineering, and why is it important?
    What types of diseases do tissue engineers address?
    What factors need to be considered when engineering treatments to repair and regenerate tissues in the body?
    How do you become a tissue engineer?
    What can you do in your high school and undergraduate education to start a career as a tissue engineer?
    This presentation will also include hands-on demonstrations about materials that tissue engineers use to design new medical treatments.

Have you ever thought about working in the medical field and also enjoy working with children? Perhaps you've thought about becoming a pediatrician but are unsure about medical school. If so, this technical talk is for you! By the end of this session you will know what Pediatric Psychology is/how it is different than Child Psychology, how to become a Pediatric Psychologist and the diverse array of career paths available to suit your interests from working directly with patients and their families, to having a position entirely devoted to research. You will leave knowing how this psychologist has ended up in pediatric cardiology and WHY this is important and exciting!

I will introduce the field of bioinformatics and describe how cutting-edge computational and bioinformatics approaches are becoming integral components of biomedical research and are driving the future of scientific exploration.

This talk will explain the technical tools used by the Prosser lab to study cardiac mechanobiology.The lecture will provide a basic introduction of muscle architecture including the sarcomere, calcium signaling, and the non-sarcomeric cytoskeleton.Muscle growth (hypertrophy) will be discussed in the context of heart failure (with images of failing and non-failing hearts) with videos of the various techniques used in the lab to image microtubules, measure cell calcium handling and contractility, and obtain the mechanical properties of isolated myocytes.Finally we will show how microtubules impede cell shortening and how the contractile performance of single isolated cells recapitulates the changes observed in patients cardiac contractility.

Have you ever looked at your cell phone right before bed?Have you enjoyed a midnight snack? Do you stay up later on the weekends than during the school week?Find out what happens to your internal clock when you do any one of those activities! I am doing my PhD in Dr. Amita Sehgal's lab and we study sleep and circadian rhythms. I would love to tell you more about my work and why our body clocks are so important and fun to study!

This will be a talk in understanding the two most important aspects of Product - Management and Design. The Product Management section will contain information and ideas of how to decide a product idea and systematically iterate upon it to create a user-friendly product. The Product Design section will contain information and ideas on how to make your product aesthetically appealing and customer centric (even if you have no aesthetic sense!).

Sessions that are offered at 9:00 ONLY

The environment around us is complex and changes greatly over time. The most dire of these environmental processes are oil spills and wildfires like those seen in the Amazon rainforest. In order to address these problems, scientists and engineers must first be able to accurately model and track the growth of these processes. I will discuss the applicability of robots and robot teams in this type of environmental monitoring as well as the research I do in enabling this technology. Additionally, I will share my experience with several important themes in scientific research: the process of problem-solving, creativity in scientific inquiry, and the importance of failure.

Interested in STEM as a career but not sure what options are available to you? This conversation will focus on non-traditional careers in STEM fields. Dr. Ashley Wallace, Ph.D. is a bio-organic chemist by training but after graduate school, decided to pursue opportunities that allowed her to combine her love for science with general education and outreach. She will share:

    her experience working for a materials science research center at the University of Pennsylvania
    tips on navigating the education system when challenges arise
    how to find the ""right"" STEM opportunities for you
    AND MORE!"

During this session you will meet three neuroscience researchers (bios below) and hear about their research.

    Dr. Felicia Davatolhagh: My talk will be about how the cells in the brain communicate with each other, and how this can become disrupted in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). I will discuss how we can link certain pathways in the brain to measuring behaviors and their interpretation for neuropsychiatric disease.
    Dr. Nitsan Goldstein: How does the brain know when we are hungry and when we are full? How does it alter our behavior so that we eat when we're hungry and stop eating when we're full? I study the neural circuits that regulate food intake and how they communicate with the body and the rest of the brain.
    Michelle Klima: I study the interaction between pain and hunger. Briefly, we found that hunger can inhibit the behavioral response to pain through inhibition of a small population of neurons in the hindbrain. We have also found that inhibition of this population can reduce peripheral inflammation. My thesis work is focused on identifying the molecular signature of these neurons and how the circuit mechanism behind the inhibition of pain and inflammation.

What is a "healthy" brain? When does an engineered brain have rights? As we develop new technologies that change our brains, who's in charge and who gets the tech? Emerging research in neuroscience comes with a lot of questions that scientists can't answer on their own. Come join this interactive discussion to share your thoughts and learn how scientists are working with philosophers, artists, educators, and public audiences to shape how and why we study the brain.

Sessions that are offered at 9:45 ONLY

Corals are the keystone species of the world's most biodiverse ocean ecosystems (coral reefs) and are under enormous threat due to climate change. Our ocean waters are becoming increasingly warm and increasingly acidic, and corals are struggling to cope with these changes. Coral survival depends on a relationship - called symbiosis - with tiny algae that live within their body tissues. The algae provide corals with most of their daily nutrition, and in turn, the corals provide the algae with the shelter and nutrients they need to survive. Under stress, this symbiosis breaks down and corals expel the algae from their bodies. If they do not take up new algae, they will starve. We want to understand this symbiosis works so we can develop conservation strategies that maintain this relationship even when corals are stressed.

In the 2018 Olympics, 1218 drones flew high above the stage, animating images of the Olympic rings and snowboarders in the sky. How do they make sure none of the drones crashed into the other? What goes into this feat of coordinated acrobatics, both on the hardware design of the drone and the software side of the drone? In this talk, we will explore: 1. What goes into designing these sort of autonomous drones? 2. What cutting-edge research are we doing at Penn with drones? 3. What sorts of applications, from art to agriculture, can we use drone systems for?

This talk will consists of a brief overview of legged robots that are built and utilized in Kod*Lab, which is a subgroup of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) Lab. Researchers at the Kod*lab are interested in the application of dynamical systems theory to the invention and construction of intelligent machines and systems, with a particular focus on biologically inspired robotics. Many of them have worked in robotics with emphasis on dynamical dexterity and the management of kinetic energy in designing machines capable of performing useful work on their bodies and environments.

During this session you will meet three neuroscience post-docs (bios below) and hear about their research.

    Dr. Patti Murphy: Unlike humans, fish are able to regenerate many tissues, including their heart and nerves, even after serious injury. I'm interested in understanding how nerves regenerate in fish, with the ultimate goal of using this knowledge to develop therapies to regrow damaged nerves in people. I'll present exciting data on how a gene called robo2 helps nerves regrow properly in zebrafish. We can also discuss current strategies for nerve regeneration in human patients and what the future might hold, as researchers apply new knowledge from "super regenerators" like zebrafish and salamanders.
    Erin Purvis: Erin is a graduate student in the Cullen Lab at UPenn Medical. The Cullen lab: ".......applies Neural Engineering principles and technologies to the area of Neurotrauma. A biomedical engineering approach is used to better understand the causative mechanisms of neural injury as well as to develop cutting-edge neural tissue engineering-based treatments to promote regeneration and restore function."
    Dr. Valerie Sydnor: Valerie's research uses in vivo human neuroimaging (MRI) to better understand the neurobiological contributors to mood disorders (depression, anxiety, PTSD), as well as the neural mechanisms of available treatments. The overarching goal of her research is to facilitate a more personalized, precision medicine-based approach to treating psychiatric disorders.

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