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Seek. Serve. Grow.

Bethel was my window to the world and to myself.
Daniel Hege ’87

Summer Science Institute

You’re invited to Bethel’s annual science institute, May 31–June 5, 2015.

This institute is open to students entering grades 10–12 and, if space is available, to this year’s high school graduates.

The institute offers research investigation opportunities in several areas of science, including biology, psychology, chemistry, computer science and mathematics. You’ll be able to study fascinating and challenging topics that high school courses typically don’t cover. The focus is on learning how to do research through close interaction with faculty. Readings provide background for lab and field study.

You’ll be involved in two of the research areas listed below, with assignment based on preferences indicated on your registration form. Up to 12 students can be accommodated in each area, so early registration ensures your enrollment in your preferred areas.

Students in all areas will come together for some sessions. Activities in these joint sessions will help you learn more about the nature of science and particularly about the areas of science featured in the institute.

We plan to offer the following research areas:

(indicate your preferences from 1, most preferred, to 3, least preferred, on the registration form)


Understanding and Measuring Attitudes
Measure attitudes with simple tests that help distinguish between conscious and unconscious attitudes and design experiments to alter observed biases. Findings will lead to discussion of the causes and effects of stereotypes and how bias might be reduced.
Engineering Designs – Step by Step
Learn to design, build and test your own sensing and control systems using an inexpensive computer called Raspberry Pi. Focus on solving energy conservation and robotic vehicle navigation problems by striving for step-by-step improvement of the initial design, a widely used approach in engineering research and development.
Biology in the Wild!
Conduct field-based exercises to test hypotheses about the natural world. Visit local prairies, forests and aquatic habitats to make environmental measurements and conduct biodiversity surveys focusing on insects as key indicators of environmental health.


Nutritional Chemistry
Investigate the composition of various samples (for example, the metal and/or vitamin C content in organic foods as compared to nonorganic foods). Techniques used may include acid digestion, titration, atomic absorption spectroscopy and UV-Vis spectroscopy.
Molecular Genetics
Acquire hands-on experience performing a variety of molecular techniques, such as DNA isolation, amplification of DNA target regions by means of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and visualization of DNA fragments via gel electrophoresis.
Understanding and Measuring Brain and Behavior
Study human and insect behavior, recording brain, muscle and behavioral responses with computers and smartphones. Responses will be viewed on the screen or heard as bursts of sound, which will be analyzed in experiments to study how different stimuli affect the responses.

Faculty (listed in order of research areas above)

Brad Celestin
Graduate student in social psychology, Indiana University (Bethel alumnus)
Guadalupe Gonzalez
2014 Bethel psychology graduate
Johann Reimer, M.S.
Industrial engineer, Excel Industries, Hesston
Jon Piper, Ph.D
Professor of biology (institute co-director)
Kathryn Layman, Ph.D
Associate professor of chemistry and physics
Francisca Méndez-Harclerode, Ph.D.
Associate professor of biology
Dwight Krehbiel, Ph.D
Professor of psychology (institute co-director)

Several Bethel science students will assist the faculty. Also assisting will be Karl Friesen, M.S., adjunct professor of computer science.

Cost and Registration

The fee is only $50 whether you stay on campus or at home (includes lodging in a Bethel residence hall, readings, a T-shirt and one hour of college credit). This fee is due at the time of registration and is not refundable after May 1. You must also fill out and submit a registration form. Each student is sponsored through a $400 donation from a Bethel science or math graduate. You’ll have a chance to communicate with these sponsors to learn about their careers in science, mathematics, medicine and related fields.

Enrollment is limited to 36, on a first-come, first-served basis, with preference given to students who have just completed the sophomore or junior year of high school. All enrollees will be required to confirm their registration by telephone or e-mail after May 1. Students who do not confirm their intentions to attend by May 15 will be dropped from the roster so that others can attend.


For more information contact Marilyn Flaming. For information on institute subject matter, contact Jon Piper or Dwight Krehbiel, institute co-directors.


May 31
3 p.m. Arrival, registration, moving into rooms
4:30 p.m. Introductions
6 p.m. Dinner
7 p.m. Entertainment and getting acquainted
June 1–4
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Laboratory sessions, field trips, discussions and lectures
Noon Lunch
1:30 p.m. Laboratory sessions, field trips, discussions and lectures
5:30 p.m. Dinner
6:30 p.m. Informal discussions, time for reading
8 p.m. Entertainment
June 5
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Preparation of presentations
Noon Lunch
1:00–4:30 p.m. Student presentations