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Catapults and cockroaches part of UCR Bourns Science and Engineering Day

Catapults and cockroaches part of UCR Bourns Science and Engineering Day

(February 1, 2001)

High school students from the Inland area will have a chance to catapult ping-pong balls into the air, or pet giant hissing cockroaches, during Bourns Science and Engineering Day Tuesday, Feb. 13, at the University of California, Riverside.

Scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the annual event heightens student interest in science and in higher education, as well as demonstrates the importance of science and technology in modern society. It will involve about 250 students from more than 20 schools.

The day begins with a presentation by David Cocker, assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering at UCR. He will be joined by Charles MacBeth, a representative of Riverside-based Bourns, Inc., a worldwide manufacturer of a variety of electronic components that can be found in such products as automobiles, cellular telephones and notebook computers. After that, students will split up for hands-on science workshops led by UCR faculty:

"Launch into Science and Engineering" is a contest to see which team can use everyday household supplies to design and construct a mechanism that will launch a Ping-Pong ball the farthest. (Bourns Hall - B wing Patio, second floor.)

"Bug Petting Zoo" is a display created by graduate students in UCR's Department of Entomology of live and preserved insects, including scorpions and tarantulas. Students will hold the giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. (International Lounge).

"Wildlife Ecology and Conservation in Southern California" is a lesson from Professor Tom Scott about the unique wildlife of Southern California, hundreds of species found no where else. He will discuss professional careers in wildlife and park management. (Geology 1242.)

"Environmental Chemistry Research at UCR" is a demonstration by Chemistry Professor Kim Prather of her state-of-the-art invention for continuously monitoring airborne particulates and atmospheric pollutants. She will discuss her national and international studies focused on the role of particulate matter in reducing visibility, affecting global climate change, and damaging human health. (1125 and 1129 Pierce Hall)

"DNA Forensics" is a lesson from Biology Professor Bradley Hyman in how DNA technology can be used to identify individuals. He will discuss ethical considerations regarding the "right to privacy." (1251 Spieth Hall.)

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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