December 5


Food Science
Center for Natural and Health Sciences
12/5/2015 09:00 AM
12/5/2015 01:00 PM

Elms College will celebrate a day of science and technology with STEM focused workshops that explore the nature of food through the lens of applied science. Sessions will be held in the Center for Natural and Health Science (CNHS). Elms STEM Day includes lunch and campus tours following the STEM sessions. Thank you to all who have registered for the event. The event's schedule is listed below. Campus parking is free of charge. Please use lot B, a short walk to the CNHS.

Registration and refreshments will begin at 9:00am.

Welcome and orientation will begin at 9:15 a.m., followed by hands-on interactive workshops from 9:30 a.m to 12:20 p.m. Participants will choose to attend three (3) food science workshops over the course of the morning:

  • Biotechnology and GM Foods: Is the food you eat genetically modified? Students are invited to bring a food item to be tested (include processed food containing corn or soy). In the lab, we will use PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to see if the food has a genetic modification transgene. Most of the prep will be completed in the lab. The final results will then be emailed. Students will be able to see the results of an experiment already going on that will show the second half of the experiment that they will not be able to see on their own samples. Presented by, Dr. Janet Williams, Biology.

  • Chemistry, Combustion, and Calories: Using combustion and simple calorimetry, we will assess the caloric content of different foods. Presented by, Melanie Joy-Cooper, Chemistry.

  • Computer Programming: We will design and program an app to compute the number of calories that are needed in a day. Presented by, Dr. Beryl Hoffman, Computer Information Technology.

  • Macromolecules: Macromolecules are large molecules formed from aggregates of smaller ones and can be classified as carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. It is possible to identify them using chemical indicators. In this lab, we will use the chemical indicators to identify the presence of a particular substance; this will be identified when the chemical changes color. Presented by, Caitlyn Janchuk, Biology.

  • Mathematical Modeling: The Logistic Growth Model will be used to describe the spread of an infectious virus within a given population. There will be a brief discussion of "Typhoid Mary".  Students will also learn about the relationship between the acid level (in units of pH) in your mouth and the time (in minutes) after you eat something that contains sugar. We will then discuss the rising cost of hamburger meat which will be modeled using linear piece-wise functions. Presented by, John Mruk, Mathematics.

  • Physiology of Taste: How does your tongue sense the four tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, and salty? Are there really only four tastes?  Then how is it that our sense of taste is actually so complex? Students will explore these questions then conduct a taste test, including the effect of scent on taste, sugar substitutes and the wondrous “Miracle Berry”. Presented by, Dr. Nina Theis, Biology.