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Registration underway for Sept. 26 math-science event for girls at MTSU

Registration already is underway for the 19th annual Expanding Your Horizons in Math in Science at MTSU, and middle school and high school girls should act early to secure their place.

Expanding Your Horizons, or EYH, will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, on campus. The registration fee is $18. The deadline to register is Tuesday, Aug. 25, or when maximum capacity has been reached. Scholarship assistance is available.

In this September 2014 file photo, MTSU Concrete Industry Management Director Heather Brown, right, discusses the process for making concrete with  girls attending last yearr's 18th annual Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science at MTSU. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

In this September 2014 file photo, MTSU Concrete Industry Management Director Heather Brown, right, discusses the process for making concrete with girls attending last yearr’s 18th annual Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science at MTSU. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

To register, go to http://www.mtsu.edu/wistem/eyh/index.php and click on “Registration.” A link for the parent or guardian release form is included on the registration page.

Expanding Your Horizons is a hands-on math and science event to help girls consider careers in these fields as well as engineering and technology. EYH gives girls opportunities to talk with women in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — and attend this type of conference with other girls.

Up to 275 middle school girls and up to 75 high school girls are welcome to attend the event.

EYH logoKathy Green, executive aide in the Department of Chemistry, and fellow dog trainer Krista Wade of Bell Buckle, Tennessee, will be one of two keynote presenters. Dogs will be a part of their presentation. A keynote for the high school girls will be announced later.

Judith Iriarte-Gross, a chemistry professor and director of the MTSU WISTEM (Women in STEM) Center and EYH, coordinates the student, faculty and industry volunteers needed to run the event.

EYH sponsors include the American Association of University Women (Murfreesboro branch), MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences, the EYH Network, Girls Raised in Tennessee Science (GRITS) Collaborative Project, MTSU, Nashville section of the American Chemical Society, Nissan North America, Schneider Electric, Southern Automotive Women’s Forum, Office of the University Provost and the MTSU Women in STEM Center.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Join the party at MTSU musical ‘La Cage Aux Folles’ through April 26

MTSU Theatre’s flashy, farcical, slightly racy production of  “La Cage Aux Folles,” set April 22-26 in the university’s Tucker Theatre, is a full-fledged family affair from backstage to the orchestra pit.

MTSU junior Dominic Gillette, left, and costume design professor Tommy Macon are in costume for their roles as Georges and Albin as rehearsals continue for the April 22-26 musical "La Cage Aux Folles" at Tucker Theatre. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU junior Dominic Gillette, left, and costume design professor Tommy Macon are in costume for their roles as “Georges” and “Albin” in the April 22-26 musical “La Cage Aux Folles” at Tucker Theatre. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

The curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. April 22-25 for the multi-Tony Award-winning musical, which follows the foibles of a St. Tropez show-business couple whose son wants to marry a strait-laced politician’s daughter. A 2 p.m. matinee is set for Sunday, April 26.

Tickets for the MTSU Arts performances, sponsored by Ascend Federal Credit Union, are available online at www.showclix.com/event/LACAGE and at the theater box office an hour before curtain times.

“This show is more about family than anything else,” junior theatre major Saul Rodriguez said of the musical, which began as a 1973 French play, became a 1978 French-Italian film, was turned into a 1983 musical by Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman and remade into a 1996 comedy film starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane.

“It’s very appealing to a lot of people. It’s a very fun show.”

Rodriguez, a resident of Lafayette, Tennessee, portrays a butler, Jacob, who works for a gay couple, Georges and Albin.

Georges, portrayed by junior theatre major Dominic Gillette, is the owner and master of ceremonies for a popular St. Tropez drag club, “La Cage Aux Folles.” His longtime partner, portrayed by MTSU costume design professor Tommy Macon, is the undisputed star of the drag-queen show in character as “Zaza.”

la Cage poster graphic

Click on the graphic for a link to purchase tickets April 22-26.

The pair’s son, Jean-Michel, tells the men he’s engaged to his girlfriend, Anne. Adam Moreno, a junior theatre major from Oak Ridge, portrays Jean-Michel, who is the result of Georges’ brief fling with a woman almost 25 years earlier, and Knoxville sophomore Delaney Keith is his new fiancée, Anne.

Jean-Michel and Anne want their families to get along, but that may be awkward because Anne’s father, Edouard Dindon, portrayed by theatre professor Crosby Hunt, leads an ultraconservative political group that wants to shut down all the drag clubs. Chaos, paparazzi, songs, dances and hilarity ensue.

“It’s such a family-oriented show, even though it’s not a traditional family,” said Keith, also a theatre major. “I think it’s great that this is being portrayed as so ‘normal,’ because the love is so real for everyone, whether it’s between my character and Jean-Michel’s character or between Georges’ and Albin’s characters.”

“That was one of the most important things about this show for me, with what’s going on now in Indiana and in Tennessee, when friends of mine friends who want to get married have to go out of state,” said theatre professor Deborah Anderson, a nationally acclaimed instructor who is directing “La Cage” to conclude her 34-year teaching career at MTSU.

“That was something I’ve talked with them about, how important this issue is at this time; I think 10 years ago, when there was no chance of same-gender marriage, it was just a big fun play then, but now I think it’s really meaningful. … This couple had been married for seven years when the play starts, and it’s just tossed off as not a big deal.”

Professor Deborah Anderson

Professor Deborah Anderson

Anderson and Hunt’s son Ian, a 2012 MTSU alumnus and professional musician in New York City, is returning to campus to provide percussion for the show.

Macon, who is normally in the backstage role of helping students create the professional-caliber costumes for which MTSU productions are renowned, said he lobbied hard for the role of Albin.

“It’s obviously the role of a lifetime,” Macon said, preening a bit in full “Zaza” mode with a beautiful light auburn wig, impeccable makeup and a magnificent lace-and-sequin-clad hourglass figure that’s enough to make Dolly Parton jealous.

“Any actor that’s ever wanted to act, this is the most exciting role, the most challenging — it’s a pivotal role, and it challenges all three areas of your abilities (acting, singing and dancing). I wanted to do this show with Deborah before she left, so I asked her to please give me the opportunity, and she did.”

Gillette, who’s spent most of the last two academic years on the Tucker Theatre stage in productions including “A Doll’s House,” “American Tall Tales” and “Amen Corner,” said he’s finding his tuxedoed role as Georges a welcome challenge.

“There’ve been some nights where I’ve been battling with myself on how to portray him,” the Chattanooga resident said with a wide grin, “but this is definitely a fun show, and I think it’s a show that everyone will generally love. It’s a feel-good type of show, and that’s why it attracted me.”

The 21-member cast also includes Paul Gray, Skylar Grieco, Kyle Finn Brown, Ben George, Moira Vaughn, Haley Orozco, Abbey Kairdolf, Kelsey Blackwell, Dallas Boudreaux, Jasmine Reid, Monzie Salazar, Jay Mullens, Alicia Pickett, Jonathan Carter and Beth Ann Stripling.

General admission tickets are $10 each and $5 for K-12 students and senior citizens. MTSU students with valid IDs will be admitted free.

“There’s a line in one of our songs that says ‘It’s rather gaudy but it’s also rather grand,’ and I think that perfectly describes everything about this show,” Rodriguez said.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU ‘BEST’ career fair draws 160 students, 40 employers (+VIDEO)

About 160 MTSU business majors donned business attire and brought their best elevator pitches to special career fair that drew 40 employers looking to recruit new hires and interns.

The Business Exchange for Student Talent, also known as BEST, hosted the career fair Wednesday, April 15, in the Student Union Ballroom. Sponsored by faculty in the Department of Management and Marketing in the Jones College of Business, the “speed networking” event allowed students to conduct short interviews with employers in small groups before moving on to the next table.

http://youtu.be/jqiP6a4MZww

Dressed in a nice navy blue business suit and resume in hand, senior marketing major Brittney Potts of Summertown, Tennessee, left the fair without the internship she wanted, but satisfied that she had gotten on the professional radar of several companies in attendance.

“I was really looking to go in for an internship opportunity, and I found out a lot of companies were looking,” Potts said. “It was my first career fair, so it was kind of nerve-racking, but I handed my resume out to a lot of people. … I have a few that I think I’ll get a callback from.”

MTSU junior Cody Wilson, right, talks with Pam Stephens, left, and Julie Darnell, center, of Wegmann Automotive USA Inc. during the BEST Career Fair in the Student Union Ballroom Wednesday, April 15. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU junior Cody Wilson, right, talks with Pam Stephens, left, and Julie Darnell, center, of Wegmann Automotive USA Inc. during the BEST Career Fair in the Student Union Ballroom Wednesday, April 15. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Potts said that for future career fairs she’ll research the companies a bit more beforehand, “that way I’ll know which companies would be a better fit for me.”

Employers on hand represented a wide variety of industries, ranging from AFLAC to The Hershey Co. and from Waffle House to Waste Management. Full-time positions and internships in the fields of marketing, management and sales were available.

Souk Wisithaphong, a recruiter for convenience store chain Speedway LLC in Smyrna, Tennessee, said she was searching for candidates for the company’s leadership and internship programs.

“I found a lot of good candidates here,” she said. “I look forward to getting in touch them … and hopefully start scheduling some interviews.”

BEST fair logo-cropThat’s just the sort activity organizers craved.

“Employers have (given) fantastic feedback about the event, not only the number of students that they’ve seen, but the quality of preparedness,” said Laura Bucker, an instructor in the Department of Management and Marketing and one of the fair organizers. “They see that students are serious minded and ready to start their careers.”

Marketing major Malik Stoudemire, a sophomore from Chattanooga, Tennessee, hasn’t yet decided his specific career path, but used his experience at the career fair to build the necessary interviewing skills to land that dream job upon graduation.

“I got a lot of tips on how to network and building relationships,” he said. “This was my first fair, and I feel that the next one I go to I’ll be more prepared.

For more information about the event, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/career/best.php.

See Spot Run discount available for groups before April 17

If you like to run in groups, you might be able to save some money by entering your organization in this year’s “See Spot Run for Humanity” if you act before this Friday, April 17.

Click on the logo for a registration link.

Click on the logo for a registration link.

The 2015 5K Run/Walk is slated to begin at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 2. Registration will begin at 3:45 p.m. at Peck Hall for both people and their canine companions.

While both individuals and groups and their dogs are welcome to participate, an organization with 15 or more participants may enter for only $20 per person.

This rate is for pre-registered racers only, and the groups must sign up by 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 17, in Room 330 of the Student Union.

Registration also is available at www.active.com. The entry fee for individuals is $25 before Monday, April 27, and $30 thereafter. Entry fees include a dry-fit-style shirt for all participants and awards to the top age group finishers.

Funds raised by “See Spot Run for Humanity” will go to support Rutherford County Habitat for Humanity and the MTSU Habitat Blitz Build.

The MTSU Office of Student Organizations and Service and Sigma Pi fraternity sponsor the race. For more information, contact the Office of Student Organizations and Service at 615-898-5812 or go to www.mtsu.edu/sos.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU displays ‘Cosmic Couture’ on runway in April 11 fashion show

Tomorrow’s clothing designers will display the fashions of the future in the annual Textiles, Merchandising and Design Runway Show.

The event is slated for 7 p.m. Saturday, April 11, in Room 221 of MTSU’s Learning Resources Center. General admission tickets are $25. VIP seating is $50. A campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

TXMD show spring 2015 poster webSenior students in the TXMD program will create clothes to fit the Space Age theme of “Cosmic Couture” and the three subthemes of “Cyberpunk,” “Space Odyssey” and “After Earth.”

“The biggest thing that a student’s going to take from this class, I hope, is how to work in a group the way they’re going to have to work when they get in the industry,” said Rick Cottle, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Sciences.

“I’m excited about the fashion show because I get to put a collection in it,” said Abby Barham, a senior from Jackson, Tennessee.

“I just want it to be really crazy but also natural at the same time and giving that overall ‘space’ look,” added Ashley Rivera, a senior from Newport, Tennessee, who will be applying makeup on some of the models.

The runway show is a prelude to Middle Tennessee Fashion Week at MTSU sponsored by the student organization Fashion and Design Students, or FADS.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, April 13, FADS will present “The Fashion Exchange” pop-up shop in the LRC lobby. Gently used clothing donated by TXMD students will be on sale for $1 per item. Both cash and credit cards will be accepted.

The “Student and Alumni Trunk Show” will offer clothing items made by TXMD students and alumni from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, in the LRC lobby. Cash is preferred, but some vendors may accept credit cards.

Local fashion industry professionals will speak about their careers in a panel discussion slated for 6 p.m. Thursday, April 16, in Room S102 of the Business and Aerospace Building. A brief question-and-answer session will follow.

Panelists will include Christy Sanford of Greenhouse Ministries; Jake Manny, art director; Imogene + Willie, designers; Megan Prange, owner of Megan Prange Pattern and Apparel Production; and Casey Freeman and Savannah McNeill, designers and bloggers at “Hey Wanderer.”

In addition, the MTSU Textiles, Merchandising and Design program is this year’s exclusive education sponsor of Nashville Fashion Week.

“It fits directly into the mission of recruiting students, student success while on campus and placing students with jobs because it helps us make industry connections,” Cottle said.

Two MTSU alumnae will be at their alma mater April 10 and 11 to recruit from the program and attend the runway show.

Lisa Struble, vice president of technical design, and Amy Cornwell, technical designer for UnderArmour, also will help the MTSU program create a professional advisory board.

Except for the runway show, all Middle Tennessee Fashion Show events are free. For more information, contact Cottle at 615-494-8752 or rick.cottle@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Micayla Aponte, a senior from Hermitage, Tennessee, sews a garment in preparation for the 2015 Textiles, Merchandising and Design Runway Show April 11 at MTSU. (Photos by MTSU News and Media Relations)

Micayla Aponte, a senior from Hermitage, Tennessee, sews a garment in preparation for the 2015 Textiles, Merchandising and Design Runway Show April 11 at MTSU. (Photos by MTSU News and Media Relations)

Early versions of some “Cosmic Couture” designs are on display in a window on the second floor of MTSU’s Learning Resources Center.

Early versions of some “Cosmic Couture” designs are on display in a window on the second floor of MTSU’s Learning Resources Center.

300 students gravitate to math-science expo at MTSU (+VIDEO)

Nautica Turner has gained an early grasp on life after high school as an adult and the need to recycle.

The 11th-grader at Johnson Learning Center in Nashville provided “Living Wall,” as one of nearly 130 student posters and projects shown April 9 during the MidTN STEM Innovation Hub’s STEM Expo held in the MTSU Science Building.

 

http://youtu.be/PPDAX3ZbFfc

STEM — or science, technology, engineering and mathematics — stood front and center on the first and second floors of the Liz and Creighton Rhea Atrium areas, as middle school and high school students, their teachers and a number of parents created a maze of human bodies.

The STEM Expo is a way for the students’ work to be shown with their peers and critically evaluated by judges from higher education and other STEM-related fields.

As Station Camp Middle School student Camden Gammicchia, foreground, tries to get their robotic can crusher to work, teammate Gracie Hile, left, explains the process to MTSU chemistry professor Preston MacDougall. The exchange took place April 9 during the third annual MidTN STEM Innovation Hub STEM Expo in the Science Building. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

As Station Camp Middle School student Camden Gammicchia, foreground, tries to get their robotic can crusher to work, teammate Gracie Hile, left, explains the process to MTSU chemistry professor Preston MacDougall. The exchange took place April 9 during the third annual MidTN STEM Innovation Hub STEM Expo in the Science Building. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Turner’s “Living Wall” utilizes “recycled wood, bottles, a raincoat and soil to grow things,” she said. “It should really inspire people to use it.”

Nearly 300 students attended the STEM Expo. Project-wise, the event has grown from 25 in 2013 to 80 in 2014 and now topped by 130 this year. Students, mainly from Davidson and Sumner counties, came from more than 20 Midstate high schools and middle schools and one from McMinn County in East Tennessee.

“It was a truly wonderful event where students came to campus and the Science Building for the STEM Expo,” said Dr. Tom Cheatham, director of the Tennessee STEM Education Center. “Our faculty and the doctoral students who served as judges were quite impressed by the students’ work.”

Cheatham coordinated the event on campus with Vicki Metzgar, Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub director, and Michelle Williams, the organization’s executive assistant.

“It was spectacular,” said Metzgar, assessing the full day that included special activities and lunch.

McGavock High School junior Chris Lewis, 17, who is in the Nashville school’s engineering pathway and a member of the Technical Students Association, called it “an awesome event.”

Amy Hale and Nicole Clemmer of Central Magnet School discuss their STEM Expo poster and project with Guanping “Ping” Zheng, left, Mike Novak and Paul Cui April 9. Zheng serves as director of the Confucius Institute.

Amy Hale and Nicole Clemmer of Central Magnet School discuss their STEM Expo poster and project with Guanping “Ping” Zheng, left, Mike Novak and Paul Cui April 9. Zheng serves as director of the Confucius Institute.

“All of these different projects that people have worked on and all these ideas they have come up with are amazing,” Lewis added. He and other McGavock students brought several robots, which they operated by remote control near the Science Building’s front entrance.

In addition to MTSU, sponsors included Siemens, the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, Aegis Sciences, Belmont and Lipscomb universities, Vanderbilt University School of Engineering, Metro Nashville Public Schools, the Adventure Science Center, American Chemical Society, American Society of Civil Engineers, Deloitte Lipscomb University, Goodall Homes, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Texas Instruments and Cumberland Center: Global Action Platform.

The sponsors awarded 15 trophies to posters and presentations considered the best by 26 judges. About half of the judges were MTSU doctoral candidates. Every participant received a medal. Awards were presented in the Keathley University Center Theater.

In 2016, event organizers plan to hold the expo in Nashville. To learn more about the MidTN STEM Innovation Hub, visit http://midtnstem.com.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Part of the crowd of more than 300 people make their way around the posters shown during the third annual MidTN STEM Innovation Hub STEM Expo April 9 in the Science Building.

Part of the crowd of more than 300 people make their way around the posters shown during the third annual MidTN STEM Innovation Hub STEM Expo April 9 in the Science Building.

MTSU volunteers urged to lend hand at April 11 park cleanup event

The MTSU Stormwater Program is partnering with other organizations this weekend to provide a volunteer opportunity for the MTSU community to help keep our parks clean.

The Stormwater Program, Stones River National Battlefield and 10 other local partners will host a major volunteer event on Saturday, April 11, that will kickoff the community’s celebration of the National Park Service Centennial.stormwater logo

An estimated 250 to 300 volunteers will gather at the Old Fort Park and work to remove invasive exotic plants and trash from city and National Park Service areas including Old Fort Park, Fortress Rosecrans, Lytle Creek, and the Lytle Creek Greenway.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at Picnic Pavilion No. 2 in Old Fort Park. Wal-Mart and the Friends of Stones River National Battlefield will provide lunch. Following lunch, participants are invited to join a park ranger for a special walking tour of Fortress Rosecrans.

park day logo copyThose wanting to volunteer will be required to provide a signed agreement form to participate that day. For a copy of the form, email Amanda Sherlin with the MTSU Stormwater Program at amanda.sherlin@mtsu.edu.

This event is part of United Way Days of Action, MTSU’s Big Event Series, and the local “Defending Our Rivers” protection initiative under the city of Murfreesboro and MTSU’s Stormwater Program. MTSU students are encouraged to volunteer.

Organizers remind volunteers that closed-toe, sturdy shoes are required, and long pants and shirts are recommended. Waterproof boots and/or waders are also recommended if available, as well as a recyclable water bottle.

This event is also part of Park Day, a nationwide event to encourage volunteer service to preserve one of our nation’s most important Civil War sites sponsored by the Civil War Trust, HistoryTM, and Take Pride in America.

For more information about the MTSU Stormwater Program, visit www.mtsu.edu/stormwater.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU organizers set April 10 criminal justice networking event

Law enforcement officials and prospective employees from around the Midstate will have an opportunity to meet and discuss careers in a friendly, casual setting for a second year.

2015 law enforcement event poster webThe 2015 Middle Tennessee Criminal Justice Networking and Information Exchange, created by MTSU criminal justice lecturer Carter F. Smith, is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 10, at Nashville State Community College, 5248 Hickory Hollow Parkway in Nashville.

The free public event, which organizers are calling a “non-career fair,” will provide opportunities for those seeking jobs in law enforcement, the judiciary, corrections or security to chat with working professionals in those areas.

Smith, who teaches courses on security at MTSU, said the event isn’t intended for resume exchanges and formal job interviews, which he believes create a psychological barrier to building relationships.

“I don’t want that additional factor to enter into students’ minds,” said Smith. “I want them to talk to somebody who did the job this morning.”

Dr. Carter Smith

Dr. Carter Smith

Representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Internal Revenue Service and police departments from Smyrna, Murfreesboro, La Vergne, Mount Juliet, Springfield and Metro Nashville are expected to attend the event.

More agencies, which may not be as obvious to job seekers, will include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Tennessee Valley Authority and Better Business Bureau.

“The TVA has its own security forces,” said Mitzie Forrest-Thompson, an MTSU graduate student who also is a crime/intelligence analyst and internship coordinator for the La Vergne Police Department.

“The average civilian doesn’t even know that. … The students don’t know that because it’s not in the textbooks.”

Forrest-Thompson, who is helping organize the conference, said her agency has had to reject numerous applicants because of their poor grammar and punctuation as well as their lack of social skills.

“We could tell that they were not going to be good socially, face-to-face,” Forrest-Thompson said.

“Because there are so many students depending on social media these days, they do not have the capabilities to … interact with real human beings.”

The ability to form relationships and partnerships is exactly what makes criminal justice career relationships work within agencies and across jurisdictions, Smith said.

2015 law enforcement event graphic“Everything now is validation,” said Sgt. Larry Pollard of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. “If we have that face-to-face relationship, it’s easier to get that.”

“It’s not a job fair,” added Smith. “It’s a get-to-know-the-field fair.”

The MTSU Department of Criminal Justice Administration and the Fraternal Order of Police of Williamson County, Lodge 41, are sponsoring the exchange. Plenty of free parking will be available, and business-casual clothing is advised.

WCJK-FM, also known as “Jack FM,” in Nashville will host a remote broadcast from the exchange from 10 a.m. to noon. Listeners may tune in to 96.3 FM or go to www.963jackfm.com.

For more information, contact Smith at carterfsmith@gmail.com or Forrest-Thompson at 615-287-8746, extension 3246, or mthompson@lavergnetn.gov.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Science-driven Camp STEM at MTSU provides spring break option

Spring break for Murfreesboro City and Rutherford County schools meant it was another opportunity for Homer Pittard Campus School teacher David Lockett to hold Camp STEM at MTSU for children drawn to science.

Learning and fun were the main agenda for March 30-April 2 Camp STEM, which is held at MTSU several weeks during the summer and spring and fall breaks. For more on future camps and registration, visit http://www.campstem.us/register/.

Gabriel "Gabe" Peebles-Ross, 7, a homeschooled second-grader from Smyrna, Tennessee, goes for a spin on a lunar rover with driver Darius Williams of Smyrna. Both participated in the spring break Camp STEM at MTSU March 30 through April 2 in the Tom H. Jackson Building's Cantrell Hall. Peebles-Ross and 20 other youngsters attended the camp while schools observed the annual week off. A Smyrna High junior, Williams served as a teaching assistant. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

Gabriel “Gabe” Peebles-Ross, 7, left, a homeschooled second-grader from Smyrna, Tennessee, goes for a spin on a lunar rover with driver Darius Williams of Smyrna. Both participated in the spring break Camp STEM at MTSU March 30 through April 2 in the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall. Peebles-Ross and 20 other youngsters attended the camp while schools observed the annual week off. A Smyrna High junior, Williams served as a teaching assistant. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

Camp STEM is a Middle Tennessee-based option for children with interests in science, technology, engineering and math. It is founded on the principle that students want exciting, challenging and life-impacting STEM experiences. The camp is committed to demonstrate how STEM works in the real world by providing hands-on activities, including:

  • Gabriel “Gabe” Peebles-Ross, 7, of Smyrna, Tennessee, and his 20 other camp mates riding individually on the back seat of the MTSU Experimental Vehicles Program’s lunar rover. He and camper and older sister, Nora, 11, are homeschooled.
  • Christina Hill, 7, a first-grader at McFadden School of Excellence, and the others visiting the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, and learning about plants and how to sew;
  • For Michael Williams, 8, of Smyrna, Tennessee, a Thurman Francis Arts Academy student, it was “getting to go outside and play, make things (flowers, circuits and magnet things he had to sew),” he said;
  • The students hearing about recycling from Stephanie Roach, education director with All in One Recycling; and
  • The students making a rocket out of Alka-Seltzer and water.
Nora Peebles-Ross, 11, a homeschooled student from Smyrna, Tennessee, uses scissors to sew stitches in material that will become bacteria (algae) students made in a Camp STEM at MTSU activity April 1 in the Tom H. Jackson Building's Cantrell Hall.

Nora Peebles-Ross, 11, a homeschooled student from Smyrna, Tennessee, uses scissors to sew stitches in material that will become bacteria (algae) students made in a Camp STEM at MTSU activity April 1 in the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall.

Darius Williams, 16, Michael’s older brother and a Smyrna High School junior, assisted as a teacher’s helper.

“It’s a blast — a very humbling experience,” he said. “I always wondered how a teacher does his or her job. Some of the things kids got to do in camp I’ve never seen before. It was very eye-opening.”

A first-grade teacher at Barfield Elementary School in Murfreesboro, Natalie Russell is in her third year of being a Camp STEM teacher.

Beth Moore, a K-5 arts teacher at Millersville Elementary School in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, assisted with crafts April 1-2.

A California-based video crew for Click2Science filmed two days of the teachers leading the camp and the Discovery Center field trip. It is expected to be available on the website, www.click2sciencepd.org, in three to six months.

Click2Science is an interactive professional development site for trainers, coaches, site directors and frontline staff and volunteers working in STEM programs serving children and youth when they are out of school.

For more information, call Lockett at 615-569-5904 or email David.Lockett@mtsu.edu.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Stephanie Roach, right, utilizes a recycling activity as she works with a group of spring break Camp STEM at MTSU students April 1. Roach serves as education director for Murfreesboro-based All in One Recycling. More than 20 children attended the four-day camp that featured a visit to the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring.

Stephanie Roach, right, utilizes a recycling activity as she works with a group of spring break Camp STEM at MTSU students April 1. Roach serves as education director for Murfreesboro-based All in One Recycling. More than 20 children attended the four-day camp that featured a visit to the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring.

Multitalented flutist brings gift to MTSU for free April 9 concert, class

Multitalented flutist, author and inventor Robert Dick will visit MTSU Thursday, April 9, for a free public concert and an open master class for interested musicians.

Robert Dick (photo courtesy Fred George)

Robert Dick (photo courtesy Fred George)

Dick, known for his interpretations of rock classics by Jimi Hendrix as well as his own chamber, classical and modern compositions, will perform at 8 p.m. April 9 in Hinton Hall inside MTSU’s Wright Music Building.

His master class is set that same morning in Hinton Hall beginning at 11:30 a.m. You can find a printable campus map at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

Dick has released more than 20 CDs of original solo and chamber works and collaborations with fellow creative musicians, including one release that features music by G.P. Telemann and Hendrix.

Over the last 25 years, he’s also contributed to the evolution of the flute with his invention, the Glissando Headjoint. The device allows the player to telescope his flute to create sounds similar to what the “whammy bar” does for the electric guitar.

Dick’s April 9 concert will feature a wide range of styles, including Telemann’s “Fantasy in A Minor” and Hendrix’s “Pali Gap,” along with three pieces based on American popular music and his own “Sliding Life Blues.” The latter showcases the use of his invention, too.

The recipient of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Yale University, Dick is the 2014 recipient of the National Flute Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship and two composer’s fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

He teaches flute and coaches improvisation and chamber music at New York University and the City University of New York Graduate Center and maintains an active private teaching studio, which includes working with flutists around the world via Skype.

You can watch a video below of Dick’s performance of “Green House,” his own composition, during a 1993 concert of Jimi Hendrix-inspired music with the Soldier String Quartet.

http://youtu.be/VJN7sTVbinI

He and the Soldier String Quartet also perform Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile” below.

http://youtu.be/WbMxHOv8jq4

For details on more MTSU School of Music performances, call 615-898-2493 or visit the MTSU School of Music “Concert Calendar” link.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)