Research Experiences for High School Science and Math Teachers Summer 2003



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Research Experiences

for

High School Science

and Math Teachers


Summer 2003

Advanced Research Program/

Advanced Technology Program

Texas Higher Education

Coordinating Board
July 2003



Supplemental Grants for High School Science

and Math Teachers - Summer 2003
The Advanced Research Program and Advanced Technology Program (ARP/ATP) were created by the Texas Legislature in 1987 as competitive grants programs for faculty members at Texas institutions of higher education. Approximately 400 research projects are funded each biennium in a number of different disciplines and research areas.
In January 1999, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board extended the programs to provide small supplementary grants to existing grantees who employ high school science and mathematics teachers to work on these projects during the summer. The grants are used by research faculty members primarily to pay for the teachers’ salaries for the four to nine weeks they will work in the university laboratories and to cover costs for laboratory supplies and travel.
This program helps build linkages between high school teachers and university research faculty, gives the teachers experiences that they will carry back to their classrooms, and results in increased interest in science and engineering among high school students.
Forty-seven teachers participated in research projects in summer 2001 and 47 participated in summer 2002. At the end of the summer, almost all of the responding faculty researchers and high school teachers judged the program to be excellent or good.
This document lists the teachers and faculty members participating in the program during summer 2003, and briefly describes the work that each teacher will do.
This summer, teachers are working on projects at 15 different universities, six health-related institutions, and two experiment stations. Teachers are engaged in a wide variety of different activities ... from computer modeling to sample preparation to using various scientific instruments for making measurements.
Projects at ... begin on page ...

Baylor College of Medicine 1


Lamar University 1
Midwestern State University 2
Rice University 2
Southern Methodist University 3
Southwest Texas State University 4
Texas Agricultural Experiment Station 5
Texas A&M University 7
Texas Engineering Experiment Station 8
Texas Tech University 9
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center 10
University of Houston 11
University of North Texas 13
University of North Texas Health Sciences Center 13
The University of Texas at Arlington 14

The University of Texas at Austin 15


The University of Texas at Dallas 17
The University of Texas-Pan American 18
The University of Texas at San Antonio 19
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston 20
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center 21
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas 22
West Texas A&M University 22

TEXAS HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD

ADVANCED RESEARCH PROGRAM/ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM

SUPPLEMENTARY GRANTS FOR HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE AND MATH TEACHERS

SUMMER 2003
Teachers and Professors Teacher activity as described by grantee

Jessica Zenker

Life Science and Algebra teacher

YES College Preparatory School

Houston
Charles Densmore

Professor

Department of Molecular Physiology

and Biophysics

Baylor College of Medicine




Polyethyleneimine-Gene Therapy Given by Aerosol: An Effective Treatment for Pulmonary Metastases
Ms. Zenker will play an important role in our TDT project aimed at developing aerosol gene delivery technology for clinical application in the treatment of lung cancer in human pediatric patients. This technology uses a tumor suppressor gene (p53) and/or a cytokine gene (IL-12) in a unique and patented nonviral formulation which appears to be highly effective in animal tumor models while exhibiting very low toxicity. Ms. Zenker has worked with our collaborator on this grant, Dr. Genie Kleinerman of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and is already familiar with some of the methodology that will be used. She proved to be a valuable addition to our collaborative effort and would therefore be an even more valuable component of our research team this summer. Ms. Zenker has expertise in areas of molecular biology that will enable her to continue work on redesigning the plasmids we are using in an effort to increase the persistence of gene expression. Such an improvement could potentially make the difference between success and failure in our planned pediatric cancer trials. She will also be involved with animal tumor and tissue culture studies, preclinical toxicity studies and aerosol particle size studies. These studies should enable Ms. Zenker to transfer her research experience to the classroom.


Bonnie J. Ardoin

Chemistry teacher

West Brook High School

Beaumont
Daniel H. Chen

Professor

Chemical Engineering Department

Lamar University



Super-Porous Titania/NLO-Coated Fiber Optic Photoreactor for Environmental Applications
Ms. Ardoin will work with two research assistants, under the supervision of the principal investigators, on the coating of aerogel TiO2 mixed with a nonlinear optical crystal (BaTiO3 or LiB3O5) on optical fibers, and measurements of photocatalytic oxidation of butyraldehyde in air. These research activities need a strong chemistry knowledge and laboratory experience. Ms. Ardoin will have the opportunity to learn and use analytical instruments such as a Nova surface analyzer, UV-Viz spectrophotometer, X-ray Diffraction (XRD), GC-FID, and GC-MS. It is estimated that each of these tasks will take four and a half weeks. Ms. Ardoin will learn from the laboratory work, interact with research personnel, and have the opportunity to contribute to this emerging technology in air pollution control. Her experiences are expected to have a significant impact on her high school science teaching.


Cerise Wuthrich

Algebra and Computer Science

teacher

Archer City High School



Archer City
Nelson Luiz Passos

Professor

Computer Science Program

Midwestern State University




Flexible Integrated Caching Approach (FICA) for Efficient Content Delivery in Wireless Internet
The research project involves the use of WEB through wireless devices. Ms. Wuthrich participated in this research last summer when she developed WEB pages based on the new WML mark-up language and studied the applicability of such pages to cell phones. During that period she co-authored two papers (one already accepted for a conference). In this new proposed participation, Ms. Wuthrich will study the use of WML on Palm devices, monitoring the access to those WEB pages, and developing on-line and off-line applications to be used by students. This data will be later added to her previous results in the simulation of WEB caching as described in the main research project. Expected results include the preparation of the teacher for work with PDAs in complement to her previous training in cell phone applications. Ms. Wuthrich will also have direct participation in the main research topic by proposing new applications, algorithms and making observations to be used in future papers describing the research results.



Debbie Trahan

Mathematics teacher

Mayde Creek High School

Houston
Richard Baraniuk

Professor

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Department

Rice University





Delivering High Perceptual Quality Real-Time Video Over Wireless Networks
The purpose of my ATP project with Ed Knightly at Rice has been to develop technology and a testbed for a new real-time video delivery system. We have made much progress, and a prototype is currently under test. Our experimentation with real-time video delivery has convinced us of its great potential in education contexts, such as distance education. In this summer project, I propose that Debbie Trahan, a teacher at Mayde Creek High School, experiment with this new technology by integrating her teaching materials for advanced placement high school courses into the Connexions system, a multimedia educational project that I started in 1999. Her work will support the important goal of testing the efficiency and effectiveness of the new video delivery system in an educational setting (scheduled for Mid-03 in our proposal research time table).
Ms. Trahan will be using the Content Commons to create lesson plans for use in pre-advanced placement high school mathematics courses. Students who take pre-advanced placement mathematics courses generally tend to attempt advance placement calculus courses in high schools. Advanced placement courses are college-level courses taught in high schools. Ms. Trahan will be able to share these lesson plans with a larger community of pre-advanced placement and advanced placement teachers through her presentations during the school year. Furthermore, they will be available over the internet for other teachers to use with their students.






Shonda Majors

Anatomy, Physiology, and Biology

teacher

Houston Christians High School



Houston
Michael Liebschner

Professor

Department of Bioengineering

Rice University





Novel Scaffold Design and Evaluation Technique for Engineering Bone Replacement Tissue
Tissue engineering techniques generally require the use of porous scaffolds, serving as a three-dimensional template and providing the necessary support for cells to attach, proliferate, and maintain their differentiated function. Its architecture defines the ultimate shape of the new grown tissue. A relationship exists between tissue micro-architecture and mechanical usage in bone tissue. It is however unknown how this architecture differs between species and how it correlates, i.e., with animal weight and activity level. Knowledge about the evolution of bone micro-architecture could potentially revolutionize the design of engineered bone replacement tissue and give insight into the importance of bone micro-architecture.
Ms. Majors will be involved in characterizing bone micro-architecture from different species by using cored bone specimen in a micro computed tomography system available in our laboratory and different imaging software packages for analysis. She will also be involved in making scaled models of those bone specimens using rapid prototyping and subsequent mechanical testing. Because of her training in anatomy, physiology, and biology, Ms. Majors can translate the knowledge she gains through this study directly into her classroom. Several bone diseases such as osteoporosis directly modify bone micro-architecture. Osteoporosis affects about 30% of our population over the age of 50 years and models generated with the rapid prototyping machine can be used in class for demonstration purposes.



Robert B. Croman

Physics teacher

Plano West Senior High School

Plano
Radovan Kovacevic

Professor

Research Center for Advanced

Manufacturing

Southern Methodist University




Development of Information System for Hybrid Rapid Manufacturing Process
The goal of this proposal is to develop an information system for the Hybrid Rapid Manufacturing Process. This system will consist of a number of modules, such as: a solid data exchange module based on a donated ACIS 3D Geometric Modeler package, an on-line slicing module, a process-planning module, a process-sensing and control module, and a module for automatic generation of welding torch paths and milling head paths. The completion of this work will lead toward the first full-scale rapid manufacturing system for building parts with features that cannot be readily produced by other methods. As the project involves various aspects of engineering science and practice in nontraditional manufacturing processes, welding, design, computer control systems, interfacing, sensing, signal processing, and control, Dr. Croman will be exposed to the related concepts, principles, methods, software and hardware, and software development. Dr. Croman will work with a research team that consists of eight Ph.D. students, two post-docs, and a research engineer. The Principal Investigator is motivated to help Dr. Croman in transferring his research experience to his classroom activities. Dr. Croman has been collaborating with the Principal Investigator since 2000.


Matt Holmes

Biology teacher

Lanier High School

Austin
Caitlin Gabor

Professor

Department of Biology

Southwest Texas State University


Species Recognition Versus Mate-Quality Recognition
Mr. Matt Holmes will return to continue working on the videotaping and video analysis project that he worked on last summer. Mr. Holmes was able to video interactions between fish in the water in some of the populations that we tested, but due to the flooding that occurred last summer, the water was too murky to permit taping in other populations. Mr. Holmes will continue this video process this summer. After the taping is finished Mr. Holmes will be reviewing the data in the tapes and recording the following information for each focal male: (1) the male’s size class, (2) the number of specific males in the vicinity, (3) the number of females within two body lengths from the focal male, (4) the number of mating attempts (thrusting) and (5) aggressive interactions. Mr. Holmes’ previous efforts have already helped this project significantly and his future efforts will be very valuable to our study and will provide him with an excellent, well-rounded research experience that he can take back to his classroom.



Teresa A. Taylor

Biology teacher

Smithson Valley High School

Spring Branch


Joseph R. Koke

Professor

Department of Biology

Southwest Texas State University



Microarray-Based Neuropathology Studies
Ms. Taylor will determine the microscopic and molecular changes that occur in animal cells in response to bacteria, with the intent of learning what signals are sent between host and potential pathogen. This work will support the mail goal of the project, to develop a cell-based microarray system capable of detecting the presence of neural and other pathologies. Initial investigations will be done in an earthworm model; earthworms harbor symbiotic bacteria in their nephridia (kidney-like structures). The host (earthworm) somehow selects the appropriate species of soil bacteria to “infect” its nephridia, rejecting all others. Understanding this selection mechanism and the signaling behind it will yield fundamental clues about the nature of pathogenesis and what signals to look for with a microarray sensing device. We expect the structural changes that occur upon infection to educate our search for signals. In addition, because this summer research is based on earthworms and relatively inexpensive reagents and equipment, it will be easily transferable to the high school science laboratory.





Leanne Teneyuque-Rios

Chemistry teacher

San Marcos High School

San Marcos


Linette M. Watkins

Professor

Department of Chemistry and

Biochemistry

Southwest Texas State University



Biodesulfurization of Recalcitrant Organosulfur Compounds
The overall goal of Leanne Teneyuque-Rios’ summer research project will be to generate a recombinant library of enzymes with enhanced specificity for one and two ring recalcitrant organosulfur compounds. This coincides with the goal of the Advanced Technology Program supported project to find engineered bacteria that are able to remove these compounds from crude oil. Using DNA shuffling techniques, Mrs. Rios will recombine the genes from the IGTS8 bacteria and the genes from the A3H1 bacteria to form a novel library of enzymes. She will then use a growth-based assay to identify bacteria with enhanced activity toward the one and two ring recalcitrant compounds. She will work directly with the principal investigator to learn the techniques needed for this project, specifically, DNA shuffling and high-throughput screening.
Mrs. Rios has previous experience in an academic research lab and will be able to use her previous knowledge of cell culture and molecular biology techniques to significantly contribute to the development of this research project. Furthermore, she will be able to take this knowledge back to her high school classes so that ultimately the students in her Chemistry classes will benefit from this research experience.



Mary Booth Lyle

Biology and Chemistry teacher

La Grange High School

La Grange


Patrick W. Dunne

Professor

Department of Veterinary

Anatomy and Public Health

Texas Agricultural Experiment

Station




Generating Conditional FMDV Resistance in Cattle by Inducible Ribozyme Degradation of IRES RNA.
Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is the cause of a highly contagious disease of cattle and other cloven-hoofed animals. The FMDV genome is a single-stranded RNA that is translated to produce a protease-processed polyprotein in infected tissue. The translation of the viral genome is directed by a conserved virus sequence termed an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) that guides host ribosomes to express virus proteins. To prevent the spread of the disease to animals following initial virus exposure, the goal of this project is to express catalytically active antisense RNA (ribozymes) that disrupt the FMDV IRES element in livestock. Using an inducible promoter to drive expression of the ribozyme transgene, animals can be protected rapidly by feeding inducer-containing feed. The first step in achieving this goal is to synthesize a DNA copy of the IRES element based on published sequence data. Using six 107 base-pair oligonucleotides spanning the Pan Asia strain IRES element as templates, we have now synthesized de novo the complete IRES fragment by PCR. The complete IRES was then subcloned in-frame to a luciferase reporter gene. Our next step is to synthesize anti-IRES ribozymes and siRNAs using the cloned IRES as template and test their antiviral activity in cell culture.
Mary Lyle will participate in the testing of one or more ribozyme and/or siRNA expression cassettes for their efficacy in inhibiting FMDV IRES-mediated expression of the luciferase reporter. Ms. Lyle will add to her store of knowledge of recombinant DNA techniques as well as her knowledge of enzyme activity analysis.


Jasson Conner

Chemistry, Wildlife and Agriculture

teacher

Amarillo Center for Advanced



Learning

Amarillo
L. Wayne Greene

Professor

Amarillo Research Center

Texas Agricultural Experiment

Station



Conservation of Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Open-Lot Cattle Feedyards
Mr. Conner who is supported by this grant will assist graduate students and research staff at the Texas Agricultural Research Center in Amarillo to conduct a final feeding study that will finalize the data collection, analysis and reporting for this project. Mr. Conner is responsible for teaching high school animal science and chemistry at the Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning, which is part of the Amarillo Independent School District. He will be introduced to environmental problems facing the beef cattle feeding industry in the Texas panhandle and introduce these problems and solutions to his classes. He will study methods to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus excretion in concentrated animal feeding operations along with nutritional feeding management techniques to improve water, soil and air quality. His daily work will consist of assisting existing personnel in completing an experiment designed to reduce the supplemental protein (nitrogen) in the diet without reducing the economics of animal production. This will be done by dietary treatments that increase the efficiency of nutrient use, thereby, reducing excess amounts being excreted to the environment. Mr. Conner will be involved with the daily care and management of feedlot animal subjects and collection of samples for laboratory analysis.


Judy Taylor

Anatomy, Physiology and

Biology teacher

Stephenville High School

Stephenville
James P. Muir

Professor

Stephenville Agricultural Experiment

Station


Texas Agricultural Experiment

Station


Sustainable Cultivated Pasture Systems for Texas Meat Goats
Judy Taylor will be invited back to complete her work with previously unstudied native legumes of the Texas Cross Timbers. Utilizing plant samples collected in previous years, she will compare in sacco degradability of various beneficial (crude protein and acid detergent fiber) and anti-quality (lignin and condensed tannins) plant components in both a typical browser (goats) and a grazer (steer). Results will assist us in understanding the dynamics of ruminant digestibility of browsed legumes and how these dynamics can be utilized to protect native Texas germplasm from extinction from domesticated herbivores.
In addition, Ms. Taylor will run statistical analyses on data collected the previous years and publish these

results in the Native Plant Journal. These will likely encompass two articles, one dealing with the seed/foliage trade-off involved in herbivory of native legumes while the other will focus on herbivore dynamics as indicated from in sacco degradability in rumen-fistulated animals.







Glenda Overfelt

Biology and Chemistry teacher

Del Rio High School

Del Rio
Ranjan S. Muttiah

Professor

Blackland Research & Extension

Center

Texas Agricultural Experiment



Station


Hydrology and Salinity Monitoring and Modeling Along the Middle Rio Grande
The objective of the proposed work by Glenda Overfelt, a science teacher from Del Rio High School, is to separate local climatic influences on the inflows to Lake Amistad. In addition to being meritorious by itself, determining the influence of local variability on the flows and lake levels will help the Advanced Technology Program project which seeks to determine local and regional influences on flow regimes into Amistad. Specifically, the following questions will be addressed: 1) how are daily streamflows into Lake Amistad responding to local daily rainfall variability, and 2) how are the lake levels in Amistad responding to variability of inflows. Lake Amistad receives inflows from the Rio Grande, Pecos, and Devils rivers. The primary contributors to Rio Grande and Pecos flows are the snow melt in Colorado, and New Mexico, respectively. Baseflow from the Edwards aquifer is the main contributor to flows of the Devils river.
Rain gauges within a 500 km footprint of the lake will be obtained from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC)-National Weather Service (NWS) website, and a nominal year of rainfall (50% exceedence probability) and wet year (95% exceedence) will be identified for each rain gauge. The nearest stream gauge to each NCDC-NWS weather station will be identified using maps such as stream networks, gauge loci, and Digital Orthophoto Quads (DOQQ) generated in a Geographic Information System (GIS). Stream gauge data are readily available from the International Boundary Commission (IBWC), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) websites. Daily lake levels are available from the IBWC. Standard statistical hypothesis tests, and newer variance tests using wavelets will be employed to assign statistical significance between rainfall, inflow, and lake levels.



Robert E. Richards

Physics, Chemistry and Biology

teacher

Bryan High School – Silver Campus



Bryan
Raghavan Srinivasan

Professor

Forest Science

Texas A&M University




Real-Time Drought Assessment and Forecasting System for Texas Using GIS and Remote Sensing
Mr. Richards will be assisting with data collection and processing for this project. Also, statistical analysis of data during the post-processing phase will be extremely important, and a valuable contribution to the research.





Tami Dudo

Algebra and Calculus teacher

A&M Consolidated High School

College Station


K. T. Hartwig

Professor

Department of Mechanical

Engineering

Texas Engineering Experiment

Station



Manufacture of Improved Thermoelectric Materials
We plan for Ms. Dudo to assist on our TDT project in two areas. In the first case, she will do three-dimensional geometric modeling of extrusion billet losses after multi-pass equal channel angular extrusion (ECAE). This is important because of industry’s desire to maximize fully processed material yield. Several different multi-pass extrusion schedules are being considered for industrial processing schedules. The route that minimizes billet losses and also accomplishes the best micro-structural refinement in the fewest number of passes (least number of handling steps) will be the most economically attractive. The results of this work will be of practical benefit to the industrial co-sponsors (Marlow Industries, Dallas, Texas) and will be publishable.
The second area of work will be the preparation and characterization of bulk Bi2Te3 following consolidation of powdered precursor materials. Most Bi2Te3 materials used for thermoelectric devices by Marlow’s competitors are prepared following a powder metallurgy route. It would be of interest for us to examine the microstructure of such material consolidated via ECAE. As an extension of this powder metallurgy approach, we plan to prepare a batch of nano-structured starting powders, using high energy ball milling, to see if consolidation of such materials gives any thermoelectric performance advantages. The results of this second study will hopefully shed light on special benefits gained from ultra-fine-grained bulk Bi2Te3 alloys.


James Bassett

Geometry and Precalculus teacher

A&M Consolidated High School

College Station


Jyh-Charn Liu

Professor

Computer Science Department

Texas Engineering Experiment

Station


On the Statistical/Bio-Physical Extraction of Textural Features of Imagery Databases
A major research opportunity for Mr. Bassett to participate in our project is geometric modeling of the 3-D images of living cells, which are acquired by high resolution imaging systems in the veterinary school. As a part of the effort to create texture-based imagery databases, the slice-scanned 3-D images need to be reconstructed, so that users can visualize the physical shape, look, and measurement of the cell, from inside to outside.
The original research team will work on image processing methods to segment major landmarks of cells, and Mr. Bassett will be asked to use his expertise to create different affine transforms, and their corresponding mappings to a regular display screen. The research team will work with Mr. Bassett to select the proper implementation tools to visualize the cell from different angles, and he can take the resulting work back to his classroom for teaching purposes, and inspire students to see the values of geometry and other related math to real life applications.


Sonja Crowell

Chemistry teacher

Lubbock High School

Lubbock
Dominick J. Casadonte, Jr.

Professor

Department of Chemistry and

Biochemistry

Texas Tech University





Enhanced Degradation of Environmental Contaminants Using Pulsed and Heterodyne Sonochemistry
Ms. Crowell will examine the effects of multifrequency heterodyne sonication on the oxidative degradation of acid orange, a common textile colorant and industrial pollutant. Through the work which Ms. Crowell will perform we will be able to determine the extent to which multifrequency sonication enhances the production of hydroxyl radicals (a leading oxidant in the sonochemical degradation of environmental contaminants in aqueous media), as well as whether or not there is a particular combination of frequencies which leads to optimum heterodyne sonochemistry.


Lee Franks

Physics, Geology and Astronomy

teacher

Lubbock High School



Lubbock
Chris Letchford

Professor

Department of Civil Engineering

Texas Tech University





Physical Simulation of Extreme Winds from Thunderstorms
Mr. Franks will construct a model house with variable-strength electromagnets simulating fixity of various building components and cladding. The model will be tested in the TTU Wind Tunnel to determine failure mechanisms and wind speed that will cause cladding and overall failure.
A parametric study of weak links will be undertaken as a qualitative measure of where fixity strength may be optimized.

Brett Peikert

Physical Science and Physics

teacher

Trinity Christian High School



Lubbock
Richard Wigmans

Professor

Department of Physics

Texas Tech University





Dual Readout Calorimetry for High-Quality Energy Measurements
In the framework of this project, a large scientific instrument is being constructed at Texas Tech University. This instrument is intended for detecting high-energy elementary particles such as protons, electrons and pions with high precision. In the summer of 2003, this instrument will be extensively tested in particle beams provided by the Super Proton Synchrotron at CERN.
Mr. Peikert will participate in the preparation of the detector for these tests. He will assist in the data taking at the accelerator and he will also participate in the analysis of these data.
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