Deanne Rogers, Assistant Professor, Department of Geosciences at Stony Brook University
Up to half of all life on Earth consists of simple microorganisms hidden in rocks beneath the surface. Scientists have suggested that the same may be true for Mars. When meteorites strike the surface of Mars, they act like natural probes, bringing up rocks from far beneath the surface.
Recent research has shown that many of the rocks brought up from the Martian subsurface contain clays and minerals whose chemical make-up has been altered by water, an essential element to support life. Some deep craters on Mars also acted as basins where groundwater likely emerged to produce lakes. McLaughlin Crater contains clay and carbonate minerals formed in an ancient lake on Mars. The fluids that formed these minerals could carry clues to as to whether the subsurface contained life.
At Pine Grove Middle School in East Syracuse, NY eighth-grade students are preparing to land ROVER robots on the planet of Mars. Their Mars might be simulated, and their ROVER robot might be made out of LEGOs, but this three month-long project requires students to work collaboratively and learn skills in design, building, and programming to successfully pull off their Mars landing.
The students are led by two of their S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, English Language Arts and Mathematics) team teachers, Jason Fahy and Tim Patterson. The Pine Grove Middle School is an innovation platform school within the Empire State STEM Learning Network (stewarded by the SUNY Office of the Education Pipeline) and a founding member of the Central New York Regional Hub of Empire STEM, which also includes SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry and Onondaga Community College.
Some of the decorations from the SUNY Orange Holiday Open House.
SUNY Orange and the Middletown Garden Lovers are “Celebrating the Holidays in America”. The Garden Lovers have decorated stately Morrison Hall on the College’s Middletown campus for the 18th annual SUNY Orange Holiday Open House.
Visitors to Morrison Hall are able to view the mansion’s five first-floor rooms awash in holiday splendor courtesy of the award-winning Garden Lovers. Morrison Hall will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. on December 15 and 16. Admission is free. Volunteers will be posted in each room to assist in any way they can for this self-guided tour.
SUNY Orange holds this Holiday Open House to present this historical building to the public, and to involve the surrounding community during the holiday season. Donations are also accepted for the Peter Alberghini Inspirational Scholarship. Alberghini, a long-time SUNY Orange employee and advocate for Orange County residents through education, civic work and mental health programs, originated the Holiday Open House as a way for the local community to enjoy Morrison Hall.
These Quidditch-playing students from SUNY Potsdam might want to take a course through Suffolk County Community College this spring. SCCC will be offering PHL 149: Philosophy and Harry Potter. (Photo courtesy of Jason Hunter, Watertown Daily Times)
Finals are just around the corner and many of you are running on coffee and potato chips. It may be too soon for you to start thinking about next semester; but if you haven’t registered for next semester’s classes yet, it’s not too late.
For those of you who need to fulfill a core requirement but don’t want to take a traditional class, SUNY’s campuses have some unusual course offerings for those undecided about what to take.
We at GenerationSUNY have taken the time to highlight some of the most unusual and fun classes we could find in a variety of fields of study. The course descriptions are included below. This list is not wholly inclusive of all programs or schools, but these are some of the most unique classes we have encountered.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
Albany – AGEO 110: The Search for Life Beyond Earth, Geology Department
The search for life beyond the Earth is a topic that has engaged many scholars for all of recorded human history. Is life common in the Universe? With NASA’s decision to define one of its strategic goals as the search for the origin and distribution of life in the Universe, scientific progress has been rapid. These investigations involve collaborations among geochemists, astrophysicists, and biochemists. This course will explore how scientists are successfully detecting planets orbiting other stars, determining the environments that led to the origin of life on Earth, and chemical processes and pathways that may have led to the origin of life on Earth and beyond.
As the fall semester comes to a close all that is left to get through is final exam week. While the ever-dropping temperature can make the thought of leaving your dorm room or apartment unbearable, here are the top 5 reasons why spending an hour at the library will make a world of a difference! – Emily Schwartz, Graduate Intern, Shared Services
1. Better grades. Ditch your drafty dorm room and head to the library. According to a study published by Scholastic, “Across the United States, research has shown that students in schools with good school libraries learn more, get better grades… From Alaska to North Carolina, more than 60 studies have shown clear evidence of this connection between student achievement and the presence of school libraries with qualified school library media specialists.” Libraries offer much more than just books these days so utilize all the resources offered to you. With finals week around the corner, many school will extend their hours, some are even open 24/7! Make sure to check out your library homepage, for up-to- date library hours.