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Exploring the Role of Student Religiosity in the Biology Classroom

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In response to a national call within STEM to increase diversity within the sciences, there has been a growth in science education research aimed at increasing participation of underrepresented groups in science, such as women and ethnic/racial minorities. However, an

In response to a national call within STEM to increase diversity within the sciences, there has been a growth in science education research aimed at increasing participation of underrepresented groups in science, such as women and ethnic/racial minorities. However, an underexplored underrepresented group in science are religious students. Though 82% of the United States population is religiously affiliated, only 52% of scientists are religious (Pew, 2009). Even further, only 32% of biologists are religious, with 25% identifying as Christian (Pew, 2009; Ecklund, 2007). One reason as to why Christian individuals are underrepresented in biology is because faculty may express biases that affect students' ability to persist in the field of biology. In this study, we explored how revealing a Christian student's religious identity on science graduate application would impact faculty's perception of the student during the biology graduate application process. We found that faculty were significantly more likely to perceive the student who revealed their religious identity to be less competent, hirable, likeable, and faculty would be less likely to mentor the student. Our study informs upon possible reasons as to why there is an underrepresentation of Christians in science. This further suggests that bias against Christians must be addressed in order to avoid real-world, negative treatment of Christians in science.

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2018-05

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A Political Critique of the Objectification of Science and Religion

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This essay explores the role of religion, science, and the secular in contemporary society by showing their connection to social and political legitimacy as a result of historical processes. In Chapter One, the essay presents historical arguments, particularly linguistic, which

This essay explores the role of religion, science, and the secular in contemporary society by showing their connection to social and political legitimacy as a result of historical processes. In Chapter One, the essay presents historical arguments, particularly linguistic, which confirm science and religion as historically created categories without timeless or essential differences. Additionally, the current institutional separation of science and religion was politically motivated by the changing power structures following the Protestant Reformation. In Chapter Two, the essay employs the concept of the modern social imaginary to show how our modern concept of the political and the secular subtly reproduce the objectified territories of science and religion and thus the boundary maintenance dialectic which dominates science-religion discourse. Chapter Three argues that ‘religious’ worldviews contain genuine metaphysical claims which do not recognizably fit into these modern social categories. Given the destabilizing forces of globalization and information technology upon the political authority of the nation-state, the way many conceptualize of these objects religion, science, and the secular will change as well.

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2018-05

Bite Force Analysis of Leucoraja erinacea Skates to Understand Morphological Evolution of Different Cartilaginous Fish

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By studying organismal performance, one can gain insight regarding the evolutionary and developmental processes that shape the adult organism. Bite force is an important trait that can be linked to performance, and therefore survival, of the entire organism. In order

By studying organismal performance, one can gain insight regarding the evolutionary and developmental processes that shape the adult organism. Bite force is an important trait that can be linked to performance, and therefore survival, of the entire organism. In order for an animal to successfully feed upon its prey, the components of the jaw, such as the skeleton and attached muscles, must be strong enough to withstand the forces required for capturing and then processing (masticating) the prey. Because sharks and skates have a fully cartilaginous skeleton, they theoretically bite off more than deemed biologically possible, these organisms, therefore, are excellent models for study when trying to understand bite performance. The goal was to measure the bite force of Leucoraja erinacea. Dissections were completed for 14 individuals, in order to expose the muscles beneath the skin. The muscles were then removed, and the mass was recorded. Calculations derived from the literature were used to determine total bite force. Linear regression was used to determine the relationship between bite force and size of the organism. The average maximum bite force of Leucoraja erinacea was determined to be roughly 23.3 Newtons (N). There was a positive relationship between bite force and size. This skate produces a much smaller bite force than many other organisms, providing insight into its ecological role in food webs. Many of the shells of commercially important prey were also much stronger than the bite forces estimated for these skates, suggesting that either the skates were not mature or large enough to feed on these prey, or, perhaps this species is unable to feed on these organisms entirely.

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2018-05

Dirty Secrets Revealed...Is That Enough?​ The Intersection of Film, Science, and Corporate Scandals

Description

This research examines the impact of films about corporate scandals stemming from environmental disasters, specifically the film ​Dark Waters ​which details the decade-long toxic chemical release by DuPont. It will also explore what distinguishes these kinds of documentary films as

This research examines the impact of films about corporate scandals stemming from environmental disasters, specifically the film ​Dark Waters ​which details the decade-long toxic chemical release by DuPont. It will also explore what distinguishes these kinds of documentary films as successful and if they result in corporate change. Some films about corporate injustices have been successful in shaping viewers’ opinions and have brought about actual changes in targeted corporations’ behaviors. However, in some instances, even though a film may hurt the public image of the corporation, it does not actually affect the operation of the business. The recently released film ​Dark Waters ​details the story of the lawyer and farmer behind the lawsuit that exposed the toxic chemical release by DuPont. The film chronicles how the lawsuit revealed how DuPont ignored and even tried to cover up how its chemicals were poisoning its own workers and the surrounding communities. It remains to be seen if this film will result in DuPont actually changing the ways it does business. In this research, I analyze three documentary films involving corporate scandals with environmental ramifications and determine if any changes were made as a result of the films and what aspects of these films caused them to be successful. My findings indicate that there are many factors that dictate whether or not a film is successful in bringing about change at the corporate level. Some of the factors include the type of corporation, how many people the scandal or environmental disaster affected, and where the incidents took place. Also, certain aspects of the film itself such as being directed or produced by well-known and respected directors and producers as well as employing famous actors can make a difference in the film’s overall impact.

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2020-05

Children's Book: Scientists Breaking Boundaries

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The Scientist in Me is an original children’s book, authored by Annmarie Barton and illustrated by Alison Lane, that explores the lives and specialties of five remarkable scientists from historically underrepresented backgrounds: Mary Anning, James Pollack, Temple Grandin, Percy Lavon

The Scientist in Me is an original children’s book, authored by Annmarie Barton and illustrated by Alison Lane, that explores the lives and specialties of five remarkable scientists from historically underrepresented backgrounds: Mary Anning, James Pollack, Temple Grandin, Percy Lavon Julian, and Ayah Bdeir. In the book, each scientist has an “Experiment” section that is meant to encourage children to immerse themselves in activities relating to the scientists’ areas of study. We believe that diversity in science is crucial for advancement, and therefore hope to inspire the next generation of scientists through immersion and representation.

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2020-05

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Determining Magnesium Metal Affinity of Alpha L- Id in pH 5

Description

Integrin is a protein in cells that manage cell adhesion. They are crucial to the biochemical functions of cells. L 2 is one type of integrin. Its I domain is responsible for ligand binding. Scientists understand how Alpha L I

Integrin is a protein in cells that manage cell adhesion. They are crucial to the biochemical functions of cells. L 2 is one type of integrin. Its I domain is responsible for ligand binding. Scientists understand how Alpha L I domain binds Mg2+ at a pH of 7 but not in acidic environments. Knowing the specificity of integrin at a lower pH is important because when tissues become inflamed, they release acidic compounds. We have cloned, expressed, and purified L I-domain and using NMR analysis, we determined that wild type Alpha L I domain does not bind to Mg2+ at a pH of 5.

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2017-05

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Teaching Science to Arizona Refugee Students: Lesson Plans Created for English Language Learners

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This project is designed to generate enthusiasm for science among refugee students in hopes of inspiring them to continue learning science as well as to help them with their current understanding of their school science subject matter.

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2017-12

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Implementing Kinetic Activities into a Children's Summer Program to Encourage STEM Engagement in Children Ages 5-11

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This creative project created and implemented a seven-day STEM curriculum that ultimately encouraged engagement in STEM subjects in students ages 5 through 11. The activities were incorporated into Arizona State University's Kids' Camp over the summer of 2017, every Tuesday

This creative project created and implemented a seven-day STEM curriculum that ultimately encouraged engagement in STEM subjects in students ages 5 through 11. The activities were incorporated into Arizona State University's Kids' Camp over the summer of 2017, every Tuesday afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. with each activity running for roughly 40 minutes. The lesson plans were created to cover a myriad of scientific topics to account for varied student interest. The topics covered were plant biology, aerodynamics, zoology, geology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy. Each lesson was scaffolded to match the learning needs of the three age groups (5-6 year olds, 7-8 year olds, 9-11 year olds) and to encourage engagement. "Engagement" was measured by pre- and post-activity surveys approved by IRB. The surveys were in the form of statements where the children would totally agree, agree, be undecided, disagree, or totally disagree with it. To more accurately test engagement, the smiley face Likert scale was incorporated with the answer choices. After implementation of the intervention, two-tailed paired t-tests showed that student engagement significantly increased for the two lesson plans of Aerodynamics and Chemistry.

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2017-12

Fabrication of Alignment and Chemical Gradient Scaffold for Tendon-Bone Repair using Electrospinning

Description

Heterogeneous musculoskeletal tissues, such as the tendon-bone junction, is crucial for transferring mechanical loading during human physical activity. This region, also known as the enthesis, is composed of a complex extracellular matrix with gradient fiber orientations and chemistries. These different

Heterogeneous musculoskeletal tissues, such as the tendon-bone junction, is crucial for transferring mechanical loading during human physical activity. This region, also known as the enthesis, is composed of a complex extracellular matrix with gradient fiber orientations and chemistries. These different physical and chemical properties are crucial in providing the support that these junctions need in handling mechanical loading of everyday activities. Currently, surgical restorative procedures for a torn enthesis entail a very invasive technique of suturing the torn tendon onto the bone. This results in improper reinjury. To circumvent this issue, one common strategy within tissue engineering is to introduce a biomaterial scaffold which acts as a template for the local damaged tissue. Electrospinning can be utilized to fabricate a fibrous material to recapitulate the structure of the extracellular matrix. Currently electrospinning techniques only allow the creation of scaffold that consists of only one orientation and material. In this work, we investigated a multicomponent, magnetically assisted, electrospinning technique to fabricate a fiber alignment and chemical gradient scaffold for tendon-bone repair

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2018-05

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Joseph Rotblat, the Physicist Who Left the Manhattan Project: a Biography of Scientific Responsibility

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Joseph Rotblat (1908-2005) was the only physicist to leave the Manhattan Project for moral reasons before its completion. He would spend the rest of his life advocating for nuclear disarmament. His activities for disarmament resulted in the formation, in 1957,

Joseph Rotblat (1908-2005) was the only physicist to leave the Manhattan Project for moral reasons before its completion. He would spend the rest of his life advocating for nuclear disarmament. His activities for disarmament resulted in the formation, in 1957, of the Pugwash conferences, which emerged as the leading global forum to advance limits on nuclear weapons during the Cold War. Rotblat's efforts, and the activities of Pugwash, resulted in both being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995. Rotblat is a central figure in the global history of resistance to the spread of nuclear weapons. He also was an important figure in the emergence, after World War II, of a counter-movement to introduce new social justifications for scientific research and new models for ethics and professionalism among scientists. Rotblat embodies the power of the individual scientist to say "no" and thus, at least individually, put limits of conscience on his or her scientific activity. This paper explores the political and ethical choices scientists make as part of their effort to behave responsibly and to influence the outcomes of their work. By analyzing three phases of Rotblat's life, I demonstrate how he pursued his ideal of beneficial science, or science that appears to benefit humanity. The three phases are: (1) his decision to leave the Manhattan Project in 1944, (2) his role in the creation of Pugwash in 1957 and his role in the rise of the organization into international prominence and (3) his winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995. These three phases of Rotblat's life provide a singular window of the history of nuclear weapons and the international movement for scientific responsibility in the 50 years since the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. While this paper does not provide a complete picture of Rotblat's life and times, I argue that his experiences shed important light on the difficult question of the individual responsibility of scientists.

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2015-05