Science in Action - See animals and live experiments on stage! - November 4, 2021

Science in Action!

November 4, 2021
The Great Hall

Reflection | Podcast | VideoPhotos

Experiments, animals, and all kinds of magic happening before your eyes by our SUU faculty and students!


On November 4, SUU’s APEX event series hosted Science in Action: "animals and live on stage experiments."

APEX’s Dr. Lynn Vartan and Dr. Bill Heyborne, an associate biology professor at SUU, hosted the event. Kicking off the show, Vartan explained that "science is the exploration of the natural world."

Three animals were shown during the event - broken up between three experiments from three different presenters. The three different presenters were Mackay Steffensen (chemistry professor), Brandon Wiggins (assistant professor of Physics) and Bertram Walker Tsavadawa (a Hopi Elder from North Eastern Arizona).

The three animals were a burmese python named Sarabi, a tegu named Mercedes, and finally a sulcata tortoise named Tater. All of the creatures shown came from a rescue situation.

Heyborne showed the 'critters' which were allowed to be there because of SUU’s Animal Ambassadors. Heyborne explained that the Animal Ambassadors is a "student club here on campus partially sponsored by the biology department and college of science on campus. We use live animals as a way to connect to the public about nature, science, and conservation. Animals are a great hook to get people excited about science."

"The SUU center for STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) teaching and learning originated on our campus back in 2014. Dr. Elaine Vickers from chemistry is now directing the center," said Heyborne. "The mission of the center is to take science education out to the world. Its purpose is to encourage underrepresented populations to get involved in STEM."

This month is Native American Heritage Month and SUU has made this past week Native American Week. The APEX series this year is all about connections — "connections between us, connections among us, what other connections can we make?" To connect everything together, Tsavadawa was the final presenter.

Tying everything he said into connections, Tsavadawa declared to the audience to "put whatever you are connected to, onto your body. It will help to bring that energy within you."

Inspiring the audience of students, Tsavadawa said to "continue your education. That is your big backbone that will take you into the world out there."

If interested in visiting SUU’s center for STEM, head to the third floor of the Geosciences building on campus. Wonder Wednesdays happen there every week from 4pm to 6pm.


Audio Transcript