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Science & Art Saturdays

What’s it like to take a college class? Find out on Science + Art Saturdays this fall.

These virtual labs, workshops and interactive tours are taught by Randolph College professors and professional experts from the Maier Museum of Art.

  • All sessions are free and are open to all high school students. 
  • Sessions will be conducted online via Zoom.
  • Each session starts at 10 a.m. and lasts about 2 hours.
  • Space is limited.
  • Registration for each session closes at noon the day before the session.
  • Please note that each student needs to have their own email address in order to register. For example, if two siblings want to attend, then we need two different emails.
  • Please call Joy McGrath at 434.485.8032 if you have any questions about the registration process.

Sign Up Now

The Science of Skywatching

September 12, 2020
Karin Warren, Herzog Family Professor of Environmental Studies and Chair of Environmental Studies Department
Limit 25

Sky watchers know the view above our heads is filled with extraordinary things—rainbows and double rainbows, ice crystal haloes, aurorae, and clouds of astounding variety. We’ll explore some meteorology and physics behind a variety of atmospheric phenomena, and learn when, where, and how to keep our eyes on the skies to spot them.


Winning Strategies (Math Games)

September 19, 2020
Marc Ordower, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Chair of the Mathematics Department
Limit 25

Checkers and tic-tac-toe are what are known as combinatorial games – games with no random elements, and no hidden elements. We’ll take a look at a few such games, and see what math has to tell us about strategy.


Scouts Merit Badge in Astronomy

September 26, 2020
Katrin Schenk, Associate Professor of Physics
Limit 25 – this is open to middle school students as well

This session will be from 10 am – 3 pm, with a break for lunch. We will cover the standard requirements for the Scouts Merit Badge in Astronomy.


Art Saturday: #BlackArtistsMatter

October 3, 2020, 10 – 11 a.m.
Laura McManus, Curator of Education at the Maier Museum of Art
Limit 25

Artists of color are highly under-represented in museum collections. When we discuss American art, how can we provide the full narrative without including all voices? This session will focus on how art museums are responding to Black Lives Matter. Laura McManus will lead a virtual tour of works in the Maier collection by African American artists. An art challenge using common household materials is included.


Where Does Toxic Waste Go?

October 10, 2020
Sarah Sojka, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Physics
Limit 30

Toxic and hazardous wastes and the need to dispose of these wastes are facts of modern life. Beginning around 1980, scholars and activists noticed brought attention to the fact that the waste discharge and disposal facilities were more likely to be located in neighborhoods that were home to people of color or people living in poverty. This realization led to the environmental justice movement. In this lab, we will use mapping software and publicly available data to examine current trends in locations of hazardous and toxic waste sites based on race, ethnicity and income. Each student will have the opportunity to create maps and analyze the data.


Protein Folding with Matlab

October 17, 2020
Katrin Schenk, Associate Professor of Physics
Limit 25

In this session we will learn a bit of Matlab programming to visualize real protein folding data!


Here Comes the Sun! An Analysis of Sunscreen

October 24, 2020
Ann Fabirkiewicz, Charles A. Dana Professor of Chemistry, Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division Head, Chair of the Chemistry Department
Limit 25

In this session, we’ll learn why sunscreen is important and how it works. We’ll then use High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and UV spectroscopy to determine which sunscreen ingredients are in different sunscreen samples.


Art Saturday: How do Contemporary Photographers Depict the Anthropocene?

November 7, 2020,  10 – 11 a.m.
Laura McManus, Curator of Education at the Maier Museum of Art
Limit 25

Many experts characterize the Anthropocene, the current period in the Earths’ history, as a time when human activity has been the dominant influence on the Earth’s climate and environment. In this session, Laura McManus will discuss Terry Evan’s large-scale, photomontages of the American Plains, Mark Klett’s “rephotographs” of American Southwest deserts, and James Balog’s time-lapse photographs on endangered wildlife.


How Big is your Genome?

November 14, 2020
Amanda Rumore, Associate Professor of Biology
Limit 25

Popular TV shows such as Law & Order SVU and NCIS routinely show how DNA evidence is used to solve crimes but have you ever wondered how this forensic work is actually performed in the lab? Did you know that scientists have even developed specific methods which allows them to extract and analyze DNA from even a single cell? In this session you will have the chance to extract DNA from your own cells and learn how to use a web-based program to analyze DNA sequences. We will mail you a home DNA extraction kit the week before the session.


Elevate Your Game: The Science & Strategy of Improvement in Esports

November 21, 2020
Jordan Oliver, Head Coach of Randolph College Esports
Limit 25

In this session we take a dive into the theories and tactics used behind the scenes to improve the gameplay and results of some of the world’s most prominent esports and pro-gaming teams. Join Randolph College Esports in looking at various emerging technologies and classic gaming fundamentals, so that we can play better and level-up together.


Physics Phest! Physics Quiz Bowl

December 5, 2020
Peter Sheldon, Charles A. Dana Professor and Chair of Physics & Engineering
Limit 40

A fun quiz bowl competition focusing on basic physical science. All levels of high school student are welcome – no particular knowledge is expected.




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