Archives – Sem 2 2019-2020 (Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May)

———- Jan 25, 2020

Click here to access the 1.25.2020 HUB Flyer USAFA Chem Dept

Chemistry of Textiles and of Fuels

Sat, Jan 25 Full Day [8:00 am – 4:00 pm] 0.5 sem hrs / 7.5 contact hours

NOTE: Time Change – Because we are now able to enter the USAFA North Gate earlier than 9 am, we have made the decision to start (and finish) the workshop one hour earlier – at 8 am.

Presenters: Dr. Gary Balaich, Dr. Ron Furstenau, Dr. Abby Jennings, USAFA Chemistry Department

Description: Looking for connections between chemistry and our world? Look no further. Join Drs. Balaich, Furstenau, and Jennings as they take you on a learning journey through the chemistry of both textiles and fuels. Learn about how textile fibers (polymers) are made, analyzed and dyed. You’ll even get to make, analyze and dye some textiles yourself! Hear about the differences between gasoline, diesel and aviation fuels. Synthesize and analyze biodiesel and some fuel blends using various lab techniques (viscosity measurements, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GCMS), and calorimetry).   

Tentative Agenda: “Chemistry of Textiles” and “Chemistry of Fuels”

  • 0800 Meet participants on the south steps of the Cadet Field House for ‘check in’
  • 0815                Escort to Chemistry Conference Room (2N189)
  • 0845-915       Introductions, refreshments, admin items in Chemistry Conference Room
  • 915-1015       Presentation:  “Chemistry of Textiles” (Dr. Abby Jennings)
    • Dr. Jennings will talk about how major types of fabrics for textiles are made and dyed. This talk will include a discussion behind the chemistry of fiber synthesis and dye synthesis and selection.
  • 1015-1030       Break, Chemistry Conference Room (2N189)
  • 1030-1230       Laboratory Experiments
    • Group A:  Synthesis and Analysis of Fuels (Dr. Balaich & Dr. Furstenau)
      • Synthesis and Analysis of Fuels”:  In this series of labs, participants will synthesize biodiesel and biodiesel petroleum diesel blends.  Different techniques will then be used to analyze the fuels, including viscosity measurements, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GCMS), and calorimetry.
    • Group B:  Synthesis, Analysis, and Dyeing of Textiles (Dr. Jennings & Dr. Furstenau)
      • “Synthesis, Analysis, and Dyeing of Textiles”:  In this series of labs, participants will synthesize several polymers, analyze the polymers/textiles using a variety of methods, and dye some fabrics.
  • 1230-1330       Working Lunch Break in Lecture Hall 
    • Presentation:  “Chemistry of Fuels” (Dr. Gary Balaich)
    • During lunch, Dr. Balaich will discuss the chemistry behind fuels, including the differences between gasoline, diesel, and aviation fuels, as well as octane number.
  • 1330-1530       Laboratory Experiments
    • Group A:  Synthesis, Analysis, and Dyeing of Textiles (Dr. Jennings & Dr. Furstenau)
    • Group B:  Synthesis and Analysis of Fuels (Dr. Balaich & Dr. Furstenau)
  • 1530-1600       Final wrap-up of the day’s events (2N189), including door prizes and evaluations
  • 1600               Depart chemistry area for Cadet Field House

———- Feb. 11, 2020

Back to the Moon, and on to Mars: Making Connections BEYOND Earth. . . Advancing Possibilities FOR Earth

Tues, Feb 11 Evening [4:00 pm – 8:00 pm] 0.25 sem hrs* / 3.75 contact hours (*credit only available in 0.5 sem hr increments)

Presenter: Jodie Guillen, Space Education Specialist, Space Foundation Discovery Center 

Description: The Space Foundation is looking forward to hosting the Pikes Peak Area Leadership in Science(PALS) for their HUB teacher professional development this February . . . and we have QUITE the adventure in store for you! Join us as we travel beyond low-Earth orbit and discover the mission ahead of us on our Science on a Sphere, as NASA prepares to send astronauts, “Back to the Moon and On to Mars!” Next, we will code a fleet of robots to retrieve water ice from the polar ice caps on Mars, and then deliver that water ice to the location of the first human habitat on the surface of Mars! Finally, we will land the first humans SAFELY on Mars, working within budgetary parameters and design constraints to achieve the impossible!!!

——— Mar. 11, 2020

Fascinating Fingerprints

Wed, March 11 Evening [4 pm – 8 pm]  0.25 sem hrs* / 3.75 contact hours (*credit only available in 0.5 sem hr increments)

Presenters: Terrie Watts, Forensic Science Teacher, Discovery Canyon Campus High School, D20; Myra Valdez, former FBI Forensic Scientist; Sandy Smith, Forensic Science Teacher, Falcon Homeschool Academic Program, D49


Description: Fingerprints are a key piece of evidence found at crime scenes. What makes fingerprints so important? Join us as we discuss and explore the world of fingerprints. Learn about fingerprints from a former FBI agent. Participate in labs where you will process and analyze fingerprints using different techniques. Experience a design lab where you and your students can learn more about collecting and processing fingerprints. Each participant will take a fingerprint kit back to use in their own classroom. 


  • Document
  • Block

No block selected.Open publish panel

  • Document

———- Apr. 4, 2020 –

NOTE – This meeting cancelled due to COVID-19 Pandemic. It was rescheduled for the next school year.

From the Nile to the Colorado – Hippos and Water Conservation at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Sat, Apr. 4  Half  Day [8:30 am – 12:30 pm] 0.25 sem hrs / 3.75 contact hours

Presenter: Stacey Graham, Director of EdVenture Programs, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo & other CMZ staff

Description: Coloradans and hippos have something in common. We all need water, and sometimes it is in short supply for both of us. Join the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo team in exploring all things hippo, including natural history, conservation, adaptations, and meeting the zoo’s resident hippos. We will also be diving into water conservation both in Africa and here in Colorado, and how you and your students can be better water stewards for the planet.

———- Apr. 16, 2020

This meeting cancelled due to COVID-19 Pandemic. It was rescheduled for the next school year.

Physics in the Natural World – Little Shop of Physics

Thurs, April 16 Evening [4:00 pm – 8:00 pm]  0.25 sem hrs* / 3.75 contact hours (*credit only available in 0.5 sem hr increments)

Presenters: Brian Jones and Sheila Ferguson, LSOP


Description: The natural world is full of seeming puzzles: Hippos spend their lives in water, and they look quite chubby, but they aren’t fat, and they can’t swim. Seals breathe air like all mammals, but they actually exhale before they take a deep dive. And there are animals possessed of what seem like superpowers: There are snakes who have a second set of vision organs that let them see in complete darkness. A dolphin can stun a fish with sound. The hairs on the body of a bee give it a “sixth sense” that lets the bee tell, from a distance, that a flower has been recently visited by another bee. A shark can sense your heartbeat. A dog can tell, from another dog’s growl, how big it is. 


In this session we’ll use physics as a tool to explain and explore the natural world, using it to explore all of these topics, and more. As with all Little Shop of Physics workshops, it will be active. We’ll spend our time making measurements and observations, sharing ideas and hypotheses, and then we’ll connect all of this back to the living world. Along the way, we’ll show you some superpowers that you possess. You can see beyond the rainbow. You have a rudimentary sense like that of a honeybee. And you, too, size up animals by their growls, whether you realize it or not!


———- May 2, 2020

This meeting cancelled due to COVID-19 Pandemic. It was rescheduled for the next school year.

Cave Exploration with CaveSim and Cave of the Winds

Title: Caves, bats, and rock-eating bacteria: exploring CaveSim (and Cave of the Winds) to learn science

Sat, May  2 Half Day [7:30 am – 12 pm] 0.25 sem hrs* / 3.75 contact hours (*credit only available in 0.5 sem hr increments)

Presenters: CaveSim:   Dave Jackson, CaveSim creator and Jackson Fulcher, CaveSim educator AND Cave of the Winds: Staff

Description: CaveSim:  From physics, to chemistry, to biology, CaveSim programs teach a wide variety of science lessons, all centered around the theme of cave exploration. Come join us to experience our mobile cave system, and see how we teach students to love science by allowing them to feel the joy of exploration.  We’ll show you how we teach bat biology, epidemiology, and statistics using bat games, and how we use our 12′ vertical caving tower to teach forces, friction, pulleys, and other physics concepts. You’ll gain a better understanding of how CaveSim programs can integrate with your curriculum, and you’ll come away with activities that you can do in your own classroom.

Cave of the Winds:  After your early morning experience with CaveSim you will travel to the Cave of the Winds where you will participate in ONE of the following tours:  (You must indicate which tour you will take when you sign up for the hub meeting.)

  • Caving 101 – “Take An Exciting Cave Trek! Explore the wild, undeveloped depths of the Manitou Grand Caverns on a 2 hour guided tour that involves an assortment of crawling, climbing, and walking through wet and muddy passages of various sizes. On this tour, you will crawl/climb/walk for nearly a mile while learning basic spelunking skills as well as the history and geology of the cave.”  (caveofthewinds.com) [Please wear clothing you won’t mind getting dirty and possibly ruined by the mud in the cave. You will also need to bring a flashlight and/or headlamps, a change of clothes, and extra pair of shoes.]

    or

  • Discover Tour! – “Explore the electrically lit portion of the Cave of the Winds on a 60 minute guided walking tour which includes 15 rooms, a 1/2 mile of concrete walkways, and 196 stairs. On this family-friendly tour, you will learn about the history and geology of the cave while being shown some of its most beautiful formations.” (caveofthewinds.com) The cave is always around 54 degrees Fahrenheit, so you may need a light sweater or jacket. Wear comfortable clothing, such as a long sleeve shirt and pants, and good walking shoes.

Tentative Agenda:

  • 7:30 – 7:45 Introductions & Administrivia
  • 7:45 – 9:30 CaveSim Activities 
  • 9:30 – 10:00 Group A (taking Caving 101 Tour) leave CMJHS to arrive at Cave of the Winds in time for the 10 am tour. This tour is quite rigorous.
  • 9:30 – 10:30 Group B (taking Discovery Tour) participate in more CaveSim activities
  • 10:30 – 11:00  Group A (taking Discover Tour) leave CMJHS to arrive at Cave of the Winds in time for the 11 am tour.
  • 12:00 noon All participants are free to depart Cave of the Winds