September 13, 2016
Sept. 8, 2016—Cypress Ridge High School Earth and space science instructor Stephan Green participated in the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) this summer, led by the Rice University Office of STEM Engagement and funded by the National Science Foundation.
Working directly under a research professor and Rice graduate students, Green studied the behavior of bubbles as they apply to volcanic eruptions.
“We were trying to describe how bubbles are formed and then how those bubbles interact with one another,” Green explained. “This research will lead to a better understanding of how, not when, each unique volcanic eruption will occur. This research will not only help scientist better understand volcanic eruptions, but it will also help community planners and the general public better plan for a possible volcanic eruption.”
Following the experience, Green presented his research at the Rice Smalley-Curl Institute 2nd Annual Summer Research Colloquium for an audience that included renowned Rice research professors, university students and Houston-area secondary teachers. A Nobel Prize winner was also in attendance, according to Green.
Green said that the RET’s six-week duration limited new or profound research conclusions; however, he said the experiments provided valuable information that can continue to be studied and used until final conclusions are made.
"There was even a Nobel Prize winner present! Being that my experience was only 6 weeks long, we were not able to come to any new or profound research conclusions. However, the experiments that I worked on provided valuable information that will continue to be studied and used until final conclusions are ready to be made."
“The experience for me was an exciting one,” Green said. “Having the opportunity to work side-by-side with leading scientists in the field of Earth science was an unforgettable experience. I learned a lot of information about volcanoes that I didn't even know. More importantly, I got firsthand experience with the application of science content and science process skills that I teach in my classes at Cy Ridge.
“The experience gave me ideas to help tweak my classroom to be more like a ‘real’ science lab and help my students think more like scientists. Through this experience I also created a lesson and lab activity that will not only help teach content, but it will also give my students a snapshot of my research.”