STEM Spots A weekly look into science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Hosted by Dr. David Cornelison, professor in the department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science at Missouri State University, STEM Spots invites local experts to discuss advances, issues and theories dealing with all matters of STEM.
STEM Spots

STEM Spots

From KSMU

A weekly look into science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Hosted by Dr. David Cornelison, professor in the department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science at Missouri State University, STEM Spots invites local experts to discuss advances, issues and theories dealing with all matters of STEM.

Most Recent Episodes

Dating a Rock: A Hard Endeavor

When one studies the processes at work in the earth, it is difficult to recreate the requisite conditions in the lab. What one lacks most is time, as building rocks and mountains takes eons to complete. In their quest to understand the mechanisms behind these geological events, scientists must know the times at which the pieces of the puzzle were first formed. To do so requires complicated dating techniques, combining field work to obtain the specimens and lab work to acquire and analyze the

Retiring From, But Not Tiring Of, Science

Becky Baker has been around MSU for quite a while. From earning her degree at SMSU in the 1970s to working as a part-time teacher to returning as a full-time faculty member in the early 90s, she has seen many changes in both the institution and the general environment of science. After many years of service, she will step down from her position this year. She stops by STEM Spots to talk about her career, what she has learned and the general tenor of science at MSU, especially as it pertains to

Texas has a lot of space: And Houston got the best part

Students who go into physics are often most interested in its connections to astronomy. And when presented with an opportunity to visit Johnson Space Center, they don't need much convincing to embark on a good old-fashioned road trip. Kali Shoaf is one such student and she stops by to chat with me about the highlights of our recent four-day excursion down Houston-way with 20 other students, one other faculty member and a dog named Boo (included under poetic license).

Metals in Plants; a Watery Scenario

Everyone knows you need metals to survive. However, as we also know some metals are deleterious to our health and the health of our ecosystem. Tracking metals and their pathways into plants requires a great deal of concentrated effort on the part of scientists in general. Enter Dr. La Toya Kissoon Charles an assistant professor of biology at Missouri State University. She and her team are currently at work to elucidate mechanisms by which harmful metallic compounds enter the plants near Missouri

Two Dimensional: Not a negative thing

When one looks at the world around us, we usually see three dimensions of space. That is, things have length, breadth and width. In the world of mathematics, we may have abstractions of fewer dimension, like a point, line or surface, but it is difficult to image true cases in nature. However, such a class of materials does exist. The most notable example of two dimensional material is graphene, the isolation of which was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010. In fact, there are many materials that can

On The Front Lines Of Fighting Opioid Addiction In Springfield

When someone first starts taking prescription pain medications of a narcotic nature, there is usually an initiating even,t related to pain. That event can be many different things, from a dental visit to a car accident. In many, if not most cases, the use of the medication is stopped after an interval and things "get back to normal". However, sometimes the use of a narcotic pain medication can become tied to a person's own sense of "happiness" and may trigger an addictive response, primarily due

Old as the Hills (or Caves); the Missouri Institute of Natural Science

Even though Missouri is not typically thought of as a place for fossils, we are not without our share. In fact, the rocks are littered with the remnants of animals that once called this place (albeit a very different version) home. Of course, Missouri is known as a place of caves, and the discovery of the Riverbluff cave system, which held remnants of animal life from the ice age, brought together a group with an interest in natural history, fossils and the Ozarks. They created the Missouri

Stuck on Success: The Future and 3M

3M is known for making all sorts of adhesives. In fact, they make a wide array of products, and some of them are manufactured right here in Springfield. The local plant has been here for 52 years and employs over 400 local workers. Their corporate research site is working on new ideas all the time, but the manufacturing arms are also implementing new technology. The incorporation of new tools, including automation, changes the way they do business. Of course, STEM Spots is very interested in the

Poignant, with a touch of virus: Grapes, Their Enemies, and MSU Research

When considering agriculture in Missouri, grapes may not be the first thing to come to mind. However, they are an important part of our economy. Not only are several varieties indigenous to the region, but many are cultivated for jellies, juices and, of course, wines. MSU William H. Darr College of Agriculture has an outstanding group of scientists who study many aspects of locally grown grapes, including the reaction of vines to illness. In that vein, Dr. Wenping Qiu and his team have spent

Poignant, with a touch of virus: Grapes, Their Enemies, and MSU Research

A Pastor Discusses Self-Worth In A Day of Robots

When thinking about automation, AI and robotics, one is struck by all the positive things that might come from their implementation. However, in a society where your value to society derives primarily from your contributions, we may need to rethink some of our conceptions of human worth. In his position as a minister, Andy Bryan, the pastor at Campbell United Methodist Church in Springfield, deals with the issues of self-worth and human value on a daily basis. In this segment of STEM Spots, he

Back To Top