A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota Idaho, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Professor Cummings In The News

One of Alycia's colleagues has grade school aged children, who in exchange for being subjects for Alycia asked that she attend their most recent Science Club meeting.  The event was covered by the local newspaper - The Grand Forks Herald.  Even though she mentioned that news photographers took many photos of her, sadly none of them made it to the paper.  This article ran on the front of the B section - City and Region

Here's the article in its entirely.  You can also (hopefully) read the article through this link.

On the same wavelength

St. Michael’s Elementary Science Club studies sound 

About two dozen third- through sixth-grade students at St. Michael’s Elementary School in Grand Forks put their voices and ears to good use Thursday afternoon.

The members of the school’s Science Club donned electro caps and headphones, tapped and blew into glass bottles filled with water and made noises into microphones and plastic tubes, each exercise with one subject in mind.

“The idea I want you to get used to is waves,” said Sarah Robinson, professor at UND’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She and fellow professor Alycia Cummings have been studying children’s brain and sound waves in their research models. On Thursday, they were joined by eight UND students to bring a little of their classroom to St. Mike’s.

The Science Club kids took turns wearing the “biosemi hats,” which look like swim caps with 64 connections for electrodes plugged in to record brain waves. Students are shown and asked to identify images. Their responses are measured in waves from parts of the brain that deal with vision, memory and comprehension.

“There’s all sorts of activity going on in your brain,” Cummings said. “We’re trying to learn how your brain is coming up with that word. How do you think brain waves get smaller?”

“You don’t need to think about it as much,” came a quick answer.

The students learned how their vocal folds, facial muscles and scalp muscles all assist in making and changing sounds and their frequencies.

Nicole Lee is the organizer of the club, which has been meeting every third Thursday since September. She said Father Gerard Braun has tasked the club with monitoring a crack in the choir loft of St. Michael’s Church. She said she wouldn’t be surprised to see the kids correlate the impact of sound waves on the crack.

“They create their own experiments and come up with results you wouldn’t expect,” Lee said. “I don’t have to give them much guidance.”

1 comment:

Sara said...

Ohhhh nice!! Congrats, Leesh!