Science Departments Host Lab Tours for Local Students

Fifth grade students from Snow Elementary School in Middletown toured Wesleyan science departments on June 15. Pictured, a Snow School student observes sunspots and solar flares through a telescope at Wesleyan's Astronomy Department.

Astronomy graduate student Raquel Martinez explains how the telescope uses a hydrogen alpha filter, which allows light of exactly one wavelength to pass through, not harming the eye.

Biology Ph.D. candidate Michelle Tipton hosted a fish matching game for the students in the Biology Department.

The game gave the students a glimpse of the freshwater fish diversity in Connecticut, where they used the fish's shape, size, color and features to match a fish on the counter to fish somewhere on the shelf.

The students identified 19 different Connecticut fish in 10 minutes.

Biology Ph.D. candidate Kate Miller taught the students about benthic macroinvertebrates, invertebrate animals that live on river bottoms. Miller, who focuses her research on bats, is interested in these organisms because they will emerge to become potential prey for bats that use the rivers for foraging.

A Snow Elementary School student examines benthic macroinvertebrate larvae under the microscope. Miller collected the samples from Coginchaug River in Middletown. The students also visited a chemistry lab and physics lab during their science tour. (Photos by Olivia Drake)