When you register for EYH, you will indicate your top 6 choices of workshops in order of preference. Please be aware that you may not get your top 3 choices. Registering early will improve your chances of being placed in your top choices, but it is not always possible because of the schedule and the number of participants.

EYH workshops use a variety of materials, including food.  If you have concerns about materials, please email eyh@jmu.edu

Here is a printable one-page pdf of the Student Workshop descriptions.


  1. ALL THAT GLITTERS

    We all want to shine inside and out. Have you ever wondered what makes your makeup shine? Chances are that shimmer is created by a mineral. Come find out which minerals make your lip gloss shine, discover where they come from, and then make your own.

    Dr. Chiara Elmi, Assistant Professor of Mineralogy, JMU and JMU Geology Club

  2. BELIEVE TO ACHIEVE

    Where will your beliefs take you? This growth mindset workshop is intended to teach the benefits of and strategies for developing a growth mindset. Focused on student beliefs about the nature of intelligence and ability, we will discuss the neurological mechanisms for growth as well as the real life benefits of believing in yourself. This workshop is interactive and provides an opportunity to improve yourself and your peers in a small group format.

    Giselle A Hendy, Instructor of Psychology, JMU

  3. BREAKING PASTA

    When you press on both ends of a spaghetti noodle hard enough, it will break. But what happens in the instant right before it breaks? We'll do some experiments and then use a high-speed camera to catch every instant, not seen with the naked eye. Can math help us predict where the noodles break, and how many pieces they break into? Come see for yourself how a high-speed camera can reveal the mathematics behind noodles breaking!

    Dr. Roger Thelwell, Associate Professor of Mathematics, JMU

  4. CHEMISTRY IN THE HOUSE

    Chemistry is a science that is used basically everywhere in things all around us. We will learn about products that you handle on a regular basis and how chemistry is associated with them. Come explore the makeup of household items and perform some safe and fun experiments that you can also do at home. Chemistry is even associated with food, so there will be some tasty treats!

    Trinity Perry and Lyssa Garber, Chemistry Students, JMU 

  5. DESIGN A ROLLER COASTER

    You're a newly hired roller coaster engineer for a brand new amusement park and they are in the process of designing the most exciting roller coaster in the world. They need your skills and roller coaster knowledge to make it. Do you have what it takes? Explore what it feels like to design roller coasters as an engineer! In this workshop, you'll learn scientific and engineering concepts behind what makes a roller coaster exciting and fun.

    Isebel Ledesma, Student, JMU

  6. DINNER DNA DETECTIVES

    Want to be a molecular biologist for the day and help us investigate what's in the food that we eat? In this workshop you will look for evidence that common foods have been genetically modified by examining their DNA! You will get to use real molecular biology tools and techniques to discover which foods contain clues of DNA manipulation and participate in a fun activity to illustrate how we tell the difference between DNA of different sizes.

    Dr. Amanda Cass, Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology, JMU and Carina Wagner Young, Visiting Instructor of Biology, JMU

  7. DISEASE DETECTIVES

    It all began with a seemingly innocent birthday party at the Community Swim Club! We need your help to investigate why guests from the party are becoming ill. Do you accept our challenge to become a Disease Detective? Come learn about the science of epidemiology and help solve a disease outbreak.

    Dr. Laura Merrell, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences, JMU and Dr. Sarah Blackstone, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences, JMU

  8. DON'T BE FOOLED WITH STATISTICS

    How likely is it that at least two students in your class will have the same birthday? What is the best strategy to win the prize in a game show or to unlock the chest of jewels? “Would You Rather…?”. We will examine the answers to these questions by learning how to count! Come learn how to become a savvy statistics sleuth who understands the usefulness and limits of statistics.

    Ms. Arlene Casiple, Instructor of Statistics, JMU and Dr. Prabhashi Withana Gamage, Assistant Professor of Statistics, JMU

  9. FRACTAL ART WITH PYTHON

    In this workshop, you'll use a computer programming language called Python to draw digital fractal art! Absolutely no prior experience in programming is necessary -- you'll be taking a provided program and changing it. You'll be able to see how computers can automate repetitive tasks and how that capability can also be used to express yourself creatively. Along the way you'll also learn a bit of Python, an extremely popular modern programming language!

    Dr. Mike Lam, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, JMU

  10. GO HUNT WIFI

    Have you ever wondered what makes it possible for you to watch your favorite show or to play your favorite game on your Kindle, Kindle Fire, iPad or Android Tablet? In this workshop, we will have fun learning about a device that is in almost every home today - the WiFi Router. Come join us on a WiFi scavenger hunt and discover that these routers are everywhere!

    Dr. Emil Salib, Professor of Integrated Science & Technology, JMU

  11. HOW TO KEEP A SECRET: AN INTRODUCTION TO CODE-MAKING AND CODE-BREAKING

    Did you ever want to keep a secret? Since ancient Rome, generals, spies, and scoundrels have used codes to convey covert information. Today, our computers use modern techniques to keep our information safe on the Internet. Come explore cryptography, the art of making and breaking codes, and how it has developed from the Caesar cipher to public-key codes.

    Dr. John Webb, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, JMU

  12. IT'S GAME TIME!

    Have you ever thought of what makes a good strategy in winning a game? Together, we will look at different games and situations to see what the best strategies are. While playing fun games and thinking of strategies together, we will be learning about a well-known theory called Game Theory.

    Malia Sarver, Abby Eget, Robin Rosewelsh, and Lily Joyce, Mathematics Students, and Association for Women in Mathematics, JMU

  13. LET'S MAKE AN APP

    Have you ever wanted to design your own mobile app? Thanks to App Inventor, it’s easier and more fun than ever before! This hands-on workshop will introduce you to the basics of user interface design and event-driven programming. Come learn how to create Android apps that you can share with your family and friends!

    Dr. Chris Mayfield, Associate Professor of Computer Science, JMU

  14. MAROONED: ENGINEERING A SOLUTION TO GET HOME

    Do you want to learn more about engineering? The world is facing a lot of challenges, but engineering design gives us a way to better understand and start tackling problems. Join us in a design challenge that requires collaboration and prototyping of creative solutions to figure out a way home after being stranded on an island. Come explore different fields of engineering while learning the engineering design process.

    Dr. Jacquelyn K. Nagel, Associate Professor of Engineering and Assistant Department Head, JMU and Cassidy Anderson, student, JMU

  15. NOT SO SWEET ODDS

    What is more likely to cause diabetes? Eating lots of sugar or lack of activity? Could it be a combination of the two or something else entirely? In this workshop, you will become an investigative statistician to discover how the combination of different lifestyle choices can influence the odds of developing Type II diabetes.  Join us as we run a simulation using M&Ms and find out if you can beat the odds.

    Dr. Nusrat Jahan, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, JMU

  16. OPERATION STATISTICS

    Which surgery tool is better? Does it matter who the surgeon is? Is one tool better for one type of operation but not the other? Come play the game Operation! We will use statistics to examine whether a store-bought tweezer is better than the one provided with the game while learning about collecting and analyzing data.  

    Dr. Beth Cochran, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, JMU and Emma Williams & Jenna Lemons, Statistics students, JMU

  17. PROGRAMMING WITH FINCH ROBOTS

    Want to stay one step ahead of our robot overlords? Start practicing with adorable Finch robots! In this workshop, we will learn to write Python code to make our Finch robots dance, avoid obstacles, sing, and react to light. Come see why Python is the most popular language for teaching introductory computer science at top-ranked universities. No prior experience is necessary - anyone can learn!

    Professor John Bowers, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, JMU

  18. SURVIVING IN SPACE: THE CHALLENGES OF SPACE EXPLORATION

    Exploring our universe requires extreme science and engineering practices. Putting the needed equipment and personnel into orbit is a very challenging process. Come explore how NASA is meeting the challenge of supporting space explorers and use balloons to simulate transporting heavy payloads into orbit.

    Dr. Robbie Higdon, Assistant Professor of Middle, Secondary, and Mathematics Education, JMU, Dr. Joi Merritt, Associate Professor of Early, Elementary, and, Reading Education, JMU, and Dr. Angela Webb, Assistant Professor of Middle, Secondary, and Mathematics Education, JMU

  19. THE FRUIT DOCTOR: MEDICAL TECHNIQUES

    Calling all future doctors or veterinarians! We receive vaccines to keep us healthy and safe from many life-threatening diseases. Doctors must have the skills to make proper sutures or else their patients recovering from surgery would be left exposed with dangerous wounds. During this workshop, we will gain a greater understanding of the importance of vaccines and suturing, and you will even get to practice these techniques yourself on fruit! *** This workshop will include supervised use of needles/sharps.***

    Alexandria Pahides, Biology Pre-Veterinary Student, JMU

  20. THE TOPOLOGY OF DONUTS

    Even though the Earth seems flat to us when we stand on it, our path as we walk around our town is curved because the Earth is actually shaped like a sphere. What would our path look like if we were walking around on a donut? In this workshop we will create both round and flat mathematical donuts (called tori) and explore these paths using fabric, velcro, frosting, and... donuts! If we have time, we'll explore donuts with more than one hole and other topics.

    Dr. Rebecca Field, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, JMU 

  21. WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER

    Have you ever heard of fish-hunting snails? How in the world could such slow creatures ever catch such a fast-moving prey? Cone snails use poisonous venom to capture fish, with each species of cone snail making its own deadly concoction. This venom could lead to new life-saving medicines, but we first need a better understanding of the evolution of the cone snail family. In this workshop, we'll learn about this fascinating group of predatory marine animals and use their beautifully decorated shells to build our own family tree of cone snail species.

    Dr. Bauerle, Dean, College of Science and Mathematics, JMU and The College of Science and Mathematics Student Council, JMU

  22. WHAT'S THE DIRT ON SOIL

    Have you ever eaten dirt? Do you want the inside scoop on the difference between dirt and soil? If you answered yes to either of these questions, come use sandwich cookies, like Oreos, and candy to create your own edible layers of soil and learn all about how these layers form.

    Kayla Reibsome, Student, JMU

  23. WILDLIFE STUDIES WITH TECH: TINY ANIMALS, TINY CAMERAS

    We can study some of the smallest mammals in the world using video and small computers. We will show you how to use a device that monitors animals and sends data to a phone. It's a new (and fun!) way to study any size mammal and learn what's in the area, as well as see some interesting behavior caught on camera..

    Dr. Katrina Gobetz, Associate Professor of Biology, JMU


Pictures from 2018 EYH Workshops

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