Campus News & Events

Campus Community to Participate in Fast-a-Thon

Wesleyan’s second annual Interfaith Fast-a-Thon will be held on Thursday, Sept. 25, and culminate with a Ramadan Banquet. Participants will fast for one day and donate the cost of meals to local charities. The day’s events will conclude at 5:45 p.m. with a ‘Break-fast Banquet’ at Beckham Hall catered by the Middletown’s Haveli India restaurant.

Workshop Helps Program Housing Develop Plans of Action

Students living in Wesleyan’s program house, ”Earth House,” want to promote the values of eating fresh, healthy foods in Middletown. They had ideas to create a bulk food education program, an easy nutritional cooking class and help 20 local residents obtain fresh foods in their homes.
 
During a workshop held Sept. 6, the students turned their ideas into a plan of action. Titled “Global Citizenship: Engaging in Local Social Issues with Global Implications,” the day-long event helped Earth House and fellow program houses design realistic programs that could be accomplished during the academic year.

Farmers Market Moves to Twice-a-Month Schedule

Lily Mandlin ’10 browses through several herb- and honey-based soaps, creams and oils, smiling with every sniff. But one fragrance stands out among the others.

“Oooh, I like this one,” she says spritzing a lavender linen spray.  “Lavender. It’s a natural way to de-stress.”

The spray, created and sold by Nature’s Edge Farm of Canterbury, Conn., was just one item Mandlin purchased during the Wesleyan Farmers Market Sept. 10 on campus. She also purchased freshly-picked corn, zucchini, goat cheese and “beautiful French bread shaped like a chain of leaves.”

Associate Provost Paula Lawson Dies Sept. 21

Associate Provost Paula Lawson died suddenly Sept. 21.

Paula Lawson.

Paula Lawson.

Lawson graduated from Carleton College with a degree in psychology and held a M. Ed. degree from Harvard University. She served as a coordinator of Academic Student Services in the College of Arts and Sciences at Northeastern University and as a research associate in the Office of Academic Affairs, the Institute for Social Research, and the Center for the Education of Women at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Memorial Service for Kay Butterfield Oct. 7

A memorial service for Katharina “Kay” Butterfield, wife of Wesleyan’s 11th President Victor L. Butterfield and the first lady of Wesleyan for 24 years, will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008.  The service will begin at 11 a.m. am at the First Church Congregational, 190 Court Street, Middletown, with a reception immediately following in the church’s Memorial Room.

Psychology Faculty, Student Study Emerging Sign Language in Nicaragua

Anna Shusterman, left, and Lisa Drennan '09 speak to a Deaf man by using Nicaraguan Sign Language. The language is only 30 years old.

Anna Shusterman, left, and Lisa Drennan ’09 speak to a Deaf man by using Nicaraguan Sign Language. The language is only 30 years old.

In the United States, Deaf people have had the ability to communicate by using sign language since the early 1800s. But in Central America’s largest nation of Nicaragua, the Deaf community had no formalized language until 30 years ago.

This emerging language, known as Nicaraguan Sign Language, is the topic of a recent study by Anna Shusterman, assistant professor of psychology, and psychology major Lisa Drennan ’09. The language was first created by local children to communicate with their friends and family and is rapidly changing.

“Nicaraguan Sign Language is certainly not a hodge-podge of different sign languages – it has its own structure, its own grammar, its own phonology, and its own words,” Shusterman says. “So it’s of great interest to researchers who are interested in the birth and evolution of language.”

Shusterman, whose broader research focuses on the development of language and thought, works with the Deaf community in Managua, Nicaragua to understand which cognitive capacities are spared despite limitations in language, and which cognitive capacities suffer when language is impaired. She invited Drennan to accompany her on a 10-day research trip in June.

Argus Editor Writes, Produces Stories for National Public Radio


Andrea Domanick ’10 participated in a National Public Radio internship this summer working on the program All Things Considered.
Posted 09/04/08
She’s already produced a story about Muslim voters’ role in the upcoming election and reported on gender identity at some of Baltimore’s most colorful ballroom events. But this is only the beginning for Wesleyan student Andrea Domanick ’10, who plans to pursue a career in broadcast journalism post Wesleyan.

As a summer intern for National Public Radio, Domanick worked for All Things Considered, NPR’s signature afternoon newscast that reaches 11.5 million listeners weekly. She was one of 55 college students and recent graduates to participate in an internship program, held June 2 to Aug. 9 at the NPR headquarters in Washington, DC.

“I’ve been a fan of NPR since I was very young, so with my interest in journalism, applying for an intern position with NPR seemed like a natural choice,” says Domanick, who was selected from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants. “Having the opportunity to produce solid pieces of journalism on relevant topics was incredibly rewarding.”

Student interns learn about broadcasting and the supporting areas of NPR through hands-on, practical experience. Interns are mentored by NPR reporters, editors, producers and engineers throughout the process. They learn how to pitch story ideas, record sound, write scripts and edit their final pieces for the program.

Aside from interning with All Things Considered, Domanick participated in Intern Edition a 40-minute web-based radio show produced entirely by NPR’s interns. The show, which is part of NPR’s Next Generation Radio Initiative, premiered July 31. For Intern Edition, Domanick and fellow intern Carina Giamerese co-developed a piece on Baltimore’s ballroom scene to combine their interests in subcultures and alternative lifestyles.

“Putting the story together was absolutely a team effort; though it’s my voice you hear on the piece, and my writing, Carina helped me edit my script, record and conduct interviews and edit our sound, not to mention do some of the driving on our three treks out to Baltimore,” she says. “That’s how producer/reporter teams work.”

Project Manager Doug Mitchell says the intern program aims to provide direct training in public radio journalism and program development:

“Shows come and go, news comes and goes. We want people who will consider staying in the public radio system,” he says. “Learning all aspects of the business, with lots of trial and error, is the best way to find people committed to public radio.”

Los Angeles, Calif. resident Domanick had her first journalism gig at the age of 13, when she wrote for a local paper called L.A. Youth. At Wesleyan, she joined The Wesleyan Argus staff, working her way up from a staff writer, to assistant arts editor, to arts editor to news editor. She’s also a staff writer for the music website, TinyMixTapes.com.

“I enjoy being at the crux of campus life and interests,” Domanick says. “Because there isn’t any academic or monetary incentive to be on the Argus staff, you have a very close-knit group of people who are interested in putting out a great paper for the sake of putting out a great paper. So because of this environment, and because it’s a small paper, I’ve really been able to find my voice as a journalist.”

After several years of working in print journalism, Domanick decided to give broadcast journalism a try. Last summer, she interned with NPR member station KPCC in Los Angeles, reporting and producing her own pieces. She found herself getting hooked on the added creative element of using sound.

“Radio is not just writing, it’s crafting a whole scene—a feel and an environment—for your listeners,” she says. “And the thought and vision you have to put into creating a good radio piece is so effective, so satisfying to me,” she says.

Domanick, a sociology major at Wesleyan, plans to go to graduate school for broadcast journalism. Ultimately, she hopes to work at NPR as a foreign correspondent or producer.

“Both positions demand very different things, but are equally exciting to me. I love the crafting, and technical, almost artistic, skill required of being a producer,” she says. “On the other hand, what’s more exciting than reporting from the heart of story—two or three continents away?”
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor. Photos contributed by NPR.

Psychology Faculty, Student Study Emerging Sign Language in Nicaragua


Anna Shusterman, left, and Lisa Drennan ’09 speak to a Deaf man by using Nicaraguan Sign Language. The language is only 30 years old.
Posted 09/04/08
In the United States, Deaf people have had the ability to communicate by using sign language since the early 1800s. But in Central America’s largest nation of Nicaragua, the Deaf community had no formalized language until 30 years ago.

This emerging language, known as Nicaraguan Sign Language, is the topic of a recent study by Anna Shusterman, assistant professor of psychology, and psychology major Lisa Drennan ’09. The language was first created by local children to communicate with their friends and family and is rapidly changing.

“Nicaraguan Sign Language is certainly not a hodge-podge of different sign languages – it has its own structure, its own grammar, its own phonology, and its own words,” Shusterman says. “So it’s of great interest to researchers who are interested in the birth and evolution of language.”

Shusterman, whose broader research focuses on the development of language and thought, works with the Deaf community in Managua, Nicaragua to understand which cognitive capacities are spared despite limitations in language, and which cognitive capacities suffer when language is impaired. She invited Drennan to accompany her on a 10-day research trip in June.

The evolution of Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL or Idioma de Señas de Nicaragua) originated in the late 1970s when a government push in special education initiatives led to new educational centers that included Deaf children. Teachers instructed their pupils with simple finger spellings, but the children invented their own gestures to communicate to each other. This provides strong evidence that language acquisition is a “naturally emerging mental process,” Shusterman explains. With this natural ability, each new generation of children joins and contributes to the increasing complexity of the language.

“An interesting side effect of the rapid evolution of this language is that the younger users of NSL have more sophisticated language than the older people,” Shusterman says.

In Managua, Shusterman and Drennan studied the sign language differences between three age groups of Deaf people who attended, or are currently attending the schools for special education. Previous researchers had discovered an “inverted linguistic community,” where the older NSL signers use a less complex form of the language, while the younger people use the form with the most recent changes and adaptations. For this reason, Shusterman and Drennan focused on the significant language differences between people in their 20s and those in their 30s.

“The desire for humans to communicate with one another was so apparent, and especially with Deaf people, there really tends to be a great desire to communicate with as many people as possible, and in any way possible,” Drennan observed.

Shusterman and Drennan studied visual perspective-taking skills in young and older Deaf participants. Visual perspective taking is an important cognitive skill that is essential for signing. The study revealed that younger signers had a far better ability to visually imagine what something looks like from another viewpoint.

They also tested cognitive function by asking the signers to control, plan, and direct their thoughts—a collection of skills known as “executive function.” They asked their participants to play a simple game in which they have to say “day” if they see a picture of a moon and “night” if they see a sun, a task which requires them to suppress the automatic response of saying “day” for sun.

“This ability might be related, for example, to suppressing your own perspective in order to think about or talk about somebody else’s perspective,” Shusterman explains. Her broader goal is to sort out how these cognitive abilities relate to each other and to language.

Prior to the trip, Drennan already took three semesters of Spanish, four semesters of American Sign Language, and one semester of Shusterman’s advanced research in developmental psychology. But learning Nicaraguan sign language was a skill acquired on the job.

“Just by being immersed in Nicaraguan sign language, I was able to pick up a lot of important words that made it possible for me to have small conversations with Nicaraguan signers,” Drennan explains. “I am specifically fascinated with Nicaraguan Sign Language because it’s such a young language with an unusual community. And as a psychology major, I really enjoy studying how the uniqueness of the language affects certain aspects of the Nicaraguan signers’ development.”

The study was funded by a Mellon Career Development Grant and Wesleyan research funds. Shusterman, who conducted past studies in 2005 and 2007, plans to continue the research in upcoming years here at Wesleyan.

Shusterman is collaborating with Jennie Pyers, assistant professor of psychology at Wellesley College, and Ann Senghas, associate professor of psychology, at Barnard College.

She and Drennan are in the process of analyzing their data, and they plan to write a paper on their findings. Shusterman has already presented results of past studies at conferences.

“The language is still changing and there are still so many questions to answer, and I always have more questions I want to investigate, especially in the critical transition between the 30- and the 20-year-olds,” Shusterman says. “I also feel a responsibility and a connection to the community there. These are people whom I remember and who remember me from one visit to the next, and it is a uniquely wonderful community in which to study the scholarly questions that interest me.”
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor. Photo contributed.

Center for Humanities Fall Lecture Series Unveiled


Yonatan Malin, assistant professor of music, will speak Oct. 20 on “Music Theory and Humanistic Study: A Brief History and Some Reflections” during the Center for Humanities Fall Lecture Series.
Posted 09/04/08
Wesleyan’s Center for the Humanities Fall Lecture Series: Figuring “The Human” begins Sept. 8. with a presentation by Nancy Armstrong, professor of English at Duke University, titled: “Darwin’s Paradox.” The event will be at 8 p.m. at Russell House.

The fall lecture series is part of the Center for the Humanities’ 50th anniversary celebration. The lectures are free and the public is welcome to attend. Additional presentations in the series are listed below. All are at 8 p.m. and are held at The Russell House unless otherwise noted. For more information call 860-685-3044.

4 p.m. Sept. 15
Thierry Hoquet, professor of philosophy, Université Paris X Nanterre, speaks on “Our Posthuman Futures: Cyborgs and Mutants in an Evolutionary Perspective.”

Sept. 22
Kari Weil, professor of letters, speaks on “Figuring ‘The Animal;’ A Report on the Animal Turn in Critical Theory.”

Oct. 6
Emily Martin, professor of anthropology, New York University, speaks on “Sleepless in America.”

Oct. 13
Andrew Curran, associate professor of romance languages, speaks on “Inventing Human Science, circa 1750.”

Oct. 20
Yonatan Malin, assistant professor of music, speaks on “Music Theory and Humanistic Study: A Brief History and Some Reflections.”

Nov. 3
Jana Sawicki, professor of philosophy and women’s studies, Williams College, speaks on “Foucault and Sexual Freedom: Why Embrace an Ethics of Pleasure?”

Nov. 10
Wolfgang Natter, professor of political science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, speaks on “Director of the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural Thought, Virginia Polytechnic Institute Universal Particulars: Space, Contingency, Universality.”

Nov. 17
Ulrich Plass, assistant professor of German speaks on “Franz Kafka and the State of Exception.”

Nov. 24
Hilary Barth, assistant professor of psychology, speaks on “Numerical Thinking: Evolution and Culture.”

Dec. 1
Michael Bérubé, Panterno Family Professor in Literature, Pennsylvania State University, speaks on “Disability Studies and the Boundaries of the Human.”

Students Help Humanity with Open Source Software


Posted 09/04/08
When a 7.9-magnitude earthquake shook China in May, more than 10,000 people died, and thousands remained trapped under rubble and debris. On the other side of the world, Wesleyan computer science students helped write the software used to coordinate volunteers for relief efforts.

The software is part of Sahana, an open-source information technology system that was built to aid in the recovery effort following the 2004 Asian tsunami. The students contributed as part of the Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS) project, a joint venture between the computer science departments of Wesleyan, Trinity College and Connecticut College, which aims to bring open source software that benefits humanity into the computer science curriculum.

“Open source software is just one example where we team up to create something for everyone,” says HFOSS team member Eli Fox-Epstein ’11 (pictured at right). “It’s a very creative, democratic process where everyone contributes what they can.”

The HFOSS venture teaches undergraduates that designing and building software is an exciting, creative and socially-beneficial activity, explains HFOSS steering committee member Danny Krizanc, professor of computer science.

“Most of the computer programs that students write while in college are just exercises that have been solved many times before by many people. These are necessary for training the mind but I think students get a real satisfaction out of working on something that potentially will have thousands of users that they will never meet,” Krizanc says. “One could achieve this goal by having students get involved in the Free and Open Source movement in general but it is our hope that some students will be attracted by the humanitarian aspect of the project.”

This summer, Fox-Epstein worked on the Credentialing Module for Sahana during the HFOSS Summer Institute, a 10-week internship program.

“A credentialing module is a way for disaster management officials to ensure that people are who they claim to be,” Fox-Epstein explains. “For example, if I show up at a disaster scene and claim to be a doctor, I could be a very valuable asset to the recovery effort. But I might be lying about being a doctor. So, before handing me the keys to the medicine cabinet and access to the morphine supply, I need to be credentialed. This is a process that involves giving evidence in the form of documents. This module takes care of that.”

Meanwhile, Juan Mendoza ’10 (pictured at left) and Qianqian Lin ’11 (pictured below), worked on an project called InSTEDD, helping to develop artificial intelligence algorithms for identifying disease outbreaks by processing news reports from around the world. Other interns developed software for Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford; created a touch screen tool kit for OpenMRS, an electronic medical record system for developing countries; and designed a scheduling system for the Darien, Conn. Emergency Medical Services volunteer supervisors.

Next fall, Norman Danner, assistant professor of computer science, will be teaching an open source-based course called Programming Methods (COMP 342). Students will not only learn the fundamental principles of software design, but discover ways computer scientists can contribute to their community. The course always is centered on developing a working software application that satisfies a real client’s needs; this fall all students in COMP 342 will make significant contributions to OpenMRS.

“We’re trying to destroy the ‘computer science is just programming’ myth by bringing in not only real-world problems, but real-world organizations who are trying to solve those problems,” Danner says. “Given how community-minded many of our students are, open-source solutions, which themselves are inherently community-based, are a terrific way to bring this into the curriculum. We want students to think of computer science as a field in which they can apply problem-solving skills to help make the world better, not just one in which they can get a job.”

The HFOSS project is funded by the Directorate for Computing & Information Science & Engineering of The National Science Foundation under its Pathways to Revitalized Undergraduate Computing Education program (CPATH). The focus of CPATH is to help revitalize interest in computing education.

“Through HFOSS, I’ve learned that computer science does not need to be separated from the basic human needs, since a good piece of free software can help save lives and resources,” Mendoza says.

The project was featured recently in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Scientists, Students Get to the Core of Block Island


Conor Veeneman ’09 and Joel LaBella, facilities manager for the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, prepare to take a core sample of Block Island’s Great Salt Pond. Sediment samples may reveal that Block Island was not formed by the conjunction of two smaller islands more than 6,000 years ago, which is the current belief.
Posted 08/06/08
More than 2,500 years ago, Native Americans settled on an area of land located about 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. They named the area “little island” or “little god place.” Much later, in 1614, it was charted by Dutch navigator Adrian Block and became known by colonists as the name it retains today: Block Island.

Now a popular tourist destination, the island is full of geological mysteries. But a group of Wesleyan-affiliated researchers have spent the summer studying the geologic and environmental history of the island. They are particularly interested in the environmental impact of humans, tracing a time line from the early Native Americans inhabitants to colonial settlers to present day.

“Our long term goal is to investigate the history of the island back to the time of the last ice age – approximately 20,000 years ago – when the glaciers retreated from the island,” explains Johan Varekamp, the Harold T. Stearns Professor of Earth Science (pictured in orange at left). “When did large lakes form there? Which drained and when did the sea inundated the former land with the modern island as its remnant? What associated changes in land use – cutting of forest, beginning of agriculture, first with corn and cattle – led to extensive deforestation? There are many questions to be answered.”

The island research team includes Varekamp; his wife Ellen Thomas, who is a research professor of earth and environmental science at Wesleyan and a senior research scientist at the Center for the Study of Global Change at Yale University, as well as students from Wesleyan, Macalester College, Bryn Mawr College, Smith College, and The State University of New York at New Paltz. The study and student participation was made possible by a grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation

A majority of their fieldwork was conducted in various water basins on the island, most prominently the massive Great Salt Pond. In July, the group used 40-foot-long aluminum pipes to core – or extract – layers of sediment from three locations.

Nowadays, the Great Salt Pond is true to its name. It’s currently salty water, a close concoction of regular seawater. But during human’s colonization of the island, the pond went through bouts of being a fresh water basin.

“The initial core records suggest that most of the time the Great Salt Pond was indeed salty, so with this study, we hope to reconstruct these periods of fresh or brackish water versus the open periods with salt water,” Varekamp says. “The pond was totally closed off from the sea for some time; the story is that the Native Americans opened a connection with the sea, but that rapidly filled-in with sand. Once the colonials arrived around 1661, they opened it up again. If the spot is not dredged regularly, it will fill in with sand.”

The core samples also reveal eutrophication – or increase in chemical nutrients – in the pond’s ecosystem. By examining the sediment, Varekamp notices significant color changes to the marine soils. Sediments dating to early in the last century are gray to olive-gray, which shows a natural process in the pond. The sediment at top of the core samples, which are from more recent times, are solid black – indicating a dramatic, human-influenced change to the pond’s ecosystem during the last 100 years or so.

The three Wesleyan students, Sarah Gillig ‘09, Conor Veeneman ‘09 and Emma Kravet ’09, assisted with multiple aspects of the study such as collecting foraminifera data (saline versus fresh waters, enclosed basin versus open marine bay), mercury analyses, and selecting shells for radiocarbon dating. Gillig, a Hughes Fellow, analyzed foraminifera in attempts to examine the popular idea that Block Island was formed by the conjunction of two smaller islands more than 6,000 years ago.

“We have not found any evidence for that in our cores yet, but it will be another two months before we have our radiocarbon dates back from the lab with ages,” Varekamp says. “The problem is, our cores may not go back 6,000 years!”

The group received help from local residents, including Walter Filkins III ’70, who allowed the team to use his boat.

“Our research team was fun and motivated, but thanks to the locals, our time on the island was efficient, successful, and relatively painless,” says earth and environmental sciences major Veeneman. “The consistent and overwhelming support of the local islanders lending boats and supplies, providing helpful insight of the island culture and history was indispensable to our sample collection and overall research progress.”

Varekamp, who specializes in mercury studies, also cored the island’s water basins for any signs of pollution. Because Block Island is a remote environment, any mercury found on the island is deposited from the air and originated elsewhere. In a previous study, he found that there was about fifty percent less mercury pollution on the island than found in central and eastern Connecticut.

The researchers are currently finishing basic sample processing at Wesleyan. In late August, they will send their “samples of interest” to external labs to determine mercury levels, carbon/nitrogen ratios, radiocarbon dates and foraminifera species concentrations.

They will present their data and an island evolution model during the North Eastern Estuarine Research Society on Block Island in October.

Their research was featured in the Block Island Times July 14.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor. Photos contributed by Joop Varekamp.

PIMMS Takes Teachers Back to School


Creating educational science projects, such as building a wood windmill (top) and using mirrors to teach math (right) were part of the Summer Energy Education Workshops, sponsored by Wesleyan’s Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science program. Connecticut teachers learned hands-on activities to use in their own classrooms.
Posted 08/06/08
At 8:30 a.m., Rusty Gray wrapped an ice cube in thermal insulated foam, packaging together peanuts, bubble wrap, newspaper and aluminum foil, and placed the ice in a cooler.

Six and a half hours later, Gray removed the insulating layers and learned her method was not an adequate way to prevent ice from thawing.

Gray, a fourth grade teacher at Mitchell Elementary School in Woodbury, Conn. was one of 130 elementary school teachers from around Connecticut participating in Summer Energy Education Workshops through Wesleyan’s Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science program (PIMMS). The “ice challenge” was just one science-and-energy-related experiment taught at the workshop.

“Our ice melted the third least amount, so we did ok, but the group that packaged their ice in sawdust did the best,” Gray explained. “And it makes sense that sawdust would work. Remember that before refrigeration was invented, ice was packed in an ice house with sawdust as an insulator.”

The workshops, which began July 18, are backed by eeSmarts, an energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy learning initiative. Supported by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund and administered by the United Illuminating and Connecticut Light and Power companies, the vision of eeSmarts is to facilitate students’ understanding of the science, math and technology related to clean, renewable energy and electricity in order to create an energy-efficient ethic among all school-age students in Connecticut.

The sessions were taught by Bob Borello, associate director of science for PIMMS (pictured at left); Karen Calechman, eeSmarts program coordinator for PIMMS; and Barbara Austin, consultant and presenter for PIMMS. Mike Zebarth is director of PIMMS.

“Energy efficiency is high on everyone’s priority list,” Zebarth said. “These workshops are meant to be interactive, cross-disciplined and activity-based lessons that teachers can use to teach children about energy and conservation. EeSmarts gives PIMMS an opportunity to strengthen science education while helping the environment.”

Donna Liebman, a library media specialist at the Hooker Elementary School in Hartford (pictured below, right), enjoyed crafting a three-sided kaleidoscope and working with various mirror experiments during the advanced summer institute workshop July 16.

“I love PIMMS because they always offer such fun, educationally enriching topics correlated to standards useful for today’s educator,” Liebman said. “Here, we’re learning theories of science through a hands-on curriculum. We’re learning how relevant topics can be taught in a fun way so students can understand how to utilize concepts every day.”

During the two-day-long workshop, Liebman and her peers also experimented with shadows and sundials, calculating rock sizes, building a motor, building a windmill, a recycling challenge among other projects.

Harvey Pond, a fourth-grade teacher at Orchard Hills Elementary School in Milford, Conn. has 37 years of teaching experience; however, dozens of the experiments taught at the workshop were new to him.

“I teach energy and electronics, and I’ve always done the normal experiments like switches and light bulbs, but here I’ve gotten so many more ideas that will really excite the kids,” Pond said. “I’m planning on using all of them because they are all fun experiments, and they all make you think and question what it is you’re doing.”

Funding for the eeSmarts program is derived from the monthly “Combined Public Benefits Charge” on consumers’ electric bills.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor