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

Springfield Researcher Studies How Microbes Affect Pollination

We all know that many plants need pollinating and that this activity is crucial to the agriculture on which we depend. However, in most cases, our understanding can be somewhat simplistic, centering on the honeybee and its relationship with various flowers. It turns out the interactions between pollinators, of which there are many besides honeybees, and plants is a complicated one. Not only is the development of the characteristics of both plant and animal dependent on each participant, there

What Goes Into Studying The 'Bugs' In Our Immune Systems? One MSU Researcher Explains

Our own immune systems do so much for us . And yet , we don't fully understand how they go about their job s . To get to the root of the matter takes many years of study, combining cellular biology, clinical work with patients, and animal studies of disease models. Christopher Lupfer is one of the scientists engaged in teasing out the details and works in the D epartment of Biology at Missouri State University. He stops by STEM Spots to talk about the bugs inside us and the machinery that

What Goes Into Studying The 'Bugs' In Our Immune Systems? One MSU Researcher Explains

Planetary Follow-ups: from the Ozarks

It is now well known that planets orbit nearly every star we can see. Astronomers are constantly working to fill in the details and understand the development of solar systems from the wide array of candidates visible to us. This work is done initially by space-based satellites, as finding the exoplanets requires large telescopes and is best done outside the earth's distorting atmosphere. However, to lock down the characteristics of the detected bodies requires extensive follow-up work, some of

Planetary Follow-ups: from the Ozarks

It is now well known that planets orbit nearly every star we can see. Astronomers are constantly working to fill in the details and understand the development of solar systems from the wide array of candidates visible to us. This work is done initially by space-based satellites, as finding the exoplanets requires large telescopes and is best done outside the earth's distorting atmosphere. However, to lock down the characteristics of the detected bodies requires extensive follow-up work, some of

MSU Student Discovers The Challenges Of Building A Dune Buggy

Stu dents at Missouri State University are always on the lookout for extracurricular activities to complement the coursework in their majors. So when students in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program learned about a national competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers, they jumped at the chance to participate. For this week's episode of STEM Spots, Aaron Abrudan, one of the team members, stops by to talk about the motivation behind and challenges of building a Baja Dune

You Can Choose Your Friends But Not Your Parasites

As everyone in the Ozarks knows, small animals abound in our environment. Many of these are mammals and each has an array of parasitic guests on their person. Sean Maher is a biologist at Missouri State University and he is mapping out the distribution of various animals and their accompanying "bugs" in locales throughout the region. Through this work, he is correlating environmental characteristics with the populations. In doing so, he hopes to learn more about the connections between

Research at Missouri State University: Paving A Path

As Vice President of Research at Missouri State University, Dr. Jim Baker is responsible for a team that supports the scholarly activities of a large group of faculty, staff and students. He stops by STEM Spots to talk with Dr. David Cornelison about the goals and challenges of the research endeavor at MSU.

STEM and Commerce; A Match Continually Being Made

For the last couple decades, a standard refrain, heard far and wide, is that the future of the workforce is tied up with STEM. And yet, it is sometimes difficult for a town, region or state to make headway in developing strong economic efforts in these fields. The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce leads much of this effort in our region and Alex Greiwe, who is the Project Manager for Workforce Development, is responsible for a good deal of it. She stops by Stem Spots to chat about the issues

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

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