By Andrew RosenblumPosted 08.04.2011 at 3:19 pm 0 Comments
Reed College, a liberal-arts school in Portland, Oregon, has 1,447 students and no graduate schools. But it has its own nuclear reactor. Only 27 schools in the nation have such a thing, and they usually use grad students and pros to run it. Reed entrusts the power of fission to students as young as freshmen, licensing twice as many undergraduate operators as any other university.
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 08.04.2011 at 2:52 pm 0 Comments
Some of the students interning on the Micro-autonomous Systems Technology (MAST) project at the Army Research Lab in Maryland spend their summer trying to equip soldiers with dozens or even hundreds of “insect” robots that can swarm into a bunker or cave to provide a remote look inside. “Working in silicon at the fruit-fly scale, they’ll cost almost nothing,” says Chris Kroninger, an aeronautics researcher specializing in MAST’s wings, “and they can be equipped with limited sensor capability that can be a first warning for a soldier.”
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 08.04.2011 at 2:00 pm 0 Comments
The research cruise that 25-year-old Ellie Bors took in 2009 looked so appealing, she says, that she skipped her own Oberlin College graduation to be part of it. On board, the crew made garbage-bag robes and a fake diploma for her, and she made her graduation walk anyway.
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 08.03.2011 at 6:17 pm 0 Comments
Many students pass through the beer lab of Professor Charles Bamforth, who for eight years worked as a senior manager at Bass Brewers. But the ones he most enjoys instructing come from the University of California at Davis's distinguished department of viticulture. "I like to convert one winemaker into a brewer every year," he says. "I consider beer a superior beverage, and I know it's a lot harder to make."
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 08.03.2011 at 6:04 pm 0 Comments
It’s been about 50 million years since the Indian tectonic plate began colliding with Asia, and the Tien Shan mountain range in Western China is still shaking. The region compresses horizontally at a rate of about a quarter-inch per year, pushing the mountains ever higher and resulting in frequent magnitude-6 and -7 earthquakes. In 2006, Caltech’s Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences (GPS) dispatched a 21-person team, mostly students, to a barren region near Urumqui to figure out how faults in the foothills increased their seismic activity.
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 08.03.2011 at 4:23 pm 0 Comments
From the Explorer I satellite in 1958 to the new Mars Science Laboratory rover set to blast off at the end of the year, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has built the country's most ambitious robotic space vessels. And every summer, about 280 undergraduates arrive there to participate in one of 16 internship programs for engineering or science students.
Why subject yourself to the dull buzz of fluorescent lights and endless data sets? Play with plastic explosives, dive with jellyfish, or make video games instead! These schools will make you wish class would never end.
Over the years, PopSci has pulled together annual lists of the coolest, funnest college labs, the places where we would like to have spent our youth tinkering, exploring, and learning. Here, we've collected the ultimate list of all the great labs we've ever covered.
For the nervous new freshmen heading to college this fall (and some bitter 25 year olds looking to travel back in time) a new website, DesignYourDorm offers the chance to make design decisions ahead of time in a 3-D replica of the room they've been dealt.
Think that college lab work is dull and uninspiring? Student inventors claimed a $25,000 grand prize and other awards Wednesday night for creating antibacterial agents, "plastic steel," and a spherical robot that can climb stairs.
The winners were contestants in the 2008 Collegiate Inventors Competition, operated by the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation since 1990.
Did you see the USC vs. Oregon State game last week? Tell me you didn’t miss it. No, I’m not talking about the shocking upset where unranked Oregon State somehow took down the number one team in the nation (though that was impressive as well. And did you know the nickname of Oregon State is the Beavers?). I’m talking about the first ever demonstration of HD instant replay.