Monday, October 25, 2010

Eastern Michigan University - I am a Student again!

Shortly before lunch I arrived at Eastern Michigan University where my friend Sarah is a student. We grabbed a quick lunch of pizza (you know, the staple diet of a college student!). We then did some wandering around the building and visited Corrie and Lisa and the other GA's in the graduate office and GIS lab. They are all very nice and it was great to meet them! 

Then it was time to teach at 12:30, today's lab was groundwater! Here is what Sarah told me after the class: "Let me tell you, when you walk into a room with a dressed up rubber chicken, man do you get people's attention!"
So class began with a quick introduction of me, my story and my job of educational outreach of STEM programs and the benefit of science education! We also talked about my recent travels; Zero-G flight, Astronaut training, Fleet Week, and my trip to Africa. The students were amazed at how far this yours truly has traveled!

Then we got into the lab itself and discussed groundwater and it's importance! (Groundwater ranks among the most vitally important of all earth materials. In many parts of the world it forms the ONLY source of water for consumption and irrigation. - notes from the lab manual by Dr. LoDuca). We covered key terms/concepts such as aquifer (Can you tell me what an aquifer is?), 3 types of aquifers (can you name them?), recharge and discharge areas, aquiclude (What materials would make a good aquiclude, aquitard (what's the difference between aquitard and aquiclude), and porosity vs. permeability (What material has high porosity but very low permeability and makes a great barrier?)

Then we showed the class a groundwater model, so they could see how the groundwater system works on a small scale and also the affect of pollutants on the groundwater system. Remember groundwater is constantly moving!

Overall it was great to see even "Big Kids" be so excited about me! 

My truck is arriving! 
What a Welcome by Ms. Corie

I had a great visit with Lisa D. Thank you! 

Posing with the Groundwater model! 

I am overseeing the lab group and helping them with their porosity vs. permeability experiment in the lab.

Me and some of the ESCC 110 students. Clearly we need to work on the photographic skills...

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