July 14, 2010 - While temperatures soar, CSU Bakersfield is a hotbed of research this month. The annual REVS-UP program is bigger than ever, with 100 local high school students and teachers helping campus faculty with 14 science-related research projects.
They're doing such exciting work as building robots, analyzing valley fever outbreaks, studying scorpions, and experimenting with household chemicals. REVS-UP (Research Experience Vitalizing Science - University Program) is funded by a $400,000 grant from Chevron. High school students receive stipends of $700 and teachers receive $3,000 each to work for four weeks at the university. Students also receive 5 units of college-level science credit.
The benefits are threefold: Students get hands-on experience doing real-world research that inspires them to study science, technology, engineering or math (referred to as the STEM fields) in college. Teachers learn new research skills to take back to their local K-12 students. And CSUB faculty get some help with their research projects.
"This is a very good way to engage high school students and re-energize and reinvigorate teachers," said Dr. Andreas Gebauer, program director and chair of the chemistry department at CSUB. "Our intent is to get students more interested in pursuing science in college. Often kids think 'I can't do this.' But they just need the opportunity to try."
In its fourth year, REVS-UP saw more applicants than ever before - 183 from students and 29 from teachers. The program could only take 80 students and 20 teachers. The diverse student group represents 16 different high schools.
Local science teacher Kevin Danley is participating in the program for the second year, helping to develop more experiments using household chemicals for teachers to use in the classroom. The group will update its online manual for teachers - which Danley uses regularly in his classes at Ridgeview High School.
"A lot of times the funding is not there for materials," he said. "These are all things you can pick up at the store. So it's not a huge expense, but it's high value."
"It's absolutely critical for companies like Chevron to have a steady pipeline of young engineers and scientists in all the places we do business so we are always looking for effective ways to stimulate that interest," said Bruce Johnson, Vice President of San Joaquin Valley Chevron North America Exploration and Production Company, when Chevron donated the funding to CSUB in March 2010. At that time, the company also donated $100,000 toward support for students studying the STEM fields at CSUB.
The 14 areas of research students and teachers will conduct over the next four weeks are:
The affect of moonlight on scorpion behavior
- Identification of antifungal bacteria from invasive marine species
- The movement of water through wood in native plants
- Genetic studies on the endangered Bakersfield cactus
- Studying fungus-resistant bacteria on North American Bullfrogs
- Demonstrating scientific principles using household chemicals
- Studying potential medicinal uses for peppers
- Building and programming robots
- Studying sediments to identify petroleum and groundwater reservoirs
- Analyzing sediments from the ancient Tulare Lake to determine lake level history, evidence of a meteorite and/or a "Little Ice Age"
- The basics of graph theory, used in mapping, database management, and more
- Exploring the world of chaos and unpredictability
- Connections between valley fever, land development and climate
- Measuring sound waves through gasses, liquids and small particles
The REVS-UP program culminates with a poster presentation and demonstration by each group starting at 2 p.m. Aug. 5 in the Stockdale Room of Runner Cafe, with a competition for cash prizes. This event "helps participants develop skills to present information and enhances their experiences," Dr. Gebauer said.
The media is invited to visit groups as they work on their research projects this month, as well as attend the culminating event. To set up a visit, please contact Jennifer Baldwin, Public Affairs Coordinator, at (661) 654-2138 or email@example.com. For more information about REVS-UP visit www.csub.edu/stem.
See what the REVS-UP participants are up to at our Facebook photo gallery
For more information:
Media ContactColleen Dillaway, Director of Public Affairs & Communications