Seek. Serve. Grow.
Please consider saving paper, ink, and electricity instead of printing.

Maybe their Bethel experience helped them leave with open eyes, and then when they had a chance to look around, they said, I can make the world a better place.
Allen Jantz, ’84

Summer Science Institute

You’re invited to Bethel’s annual science institute, June 1-6, 2014. This institute is open to students entering grades 10–12 and, if space is available, to 2014 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)

  • Morning:
    • Schizophrenia and Mind.
      Read about recent research on schizophrenia and get to know people who have been diagnosed with this disorder. Gather data on how they think about themselves and others, then analyze the data and present your findings.
    • Programming with Scratch!
      Learn a computer programming language and use it to write a game in only a week. No previous programming experience is required.
    • 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.
  • Afternoon:
    • 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.
    • Listening to the Brains of Bugs and Worms
      Record responses from the nervous systems of crickets or other invertebrates (responses will be heard as bursts of sound, which can be recorded, analyzed and played back on smartphones or computers). Design experiments to study how different stimuli affect the responses.

Faculty (listed in order of research areas above)

Paul Lewis, Ph.D.
Professor of psychology
Karl Friesen, M.S.
Adjunct assistant professor of computer science
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, as will Bethel math alumnus Gary Lyndaker, retired Chief Information Officer for the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

Cost and Registration

The fee of only $50 applies whether you stay on campus or at home (fee includes lodging in a Bethel residence hall, meals in the cafeteria, 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 16 will be dropped from the roster so that others can attend.


For more information contact Marilyn Flaming at 1-800-522-1887 ext. 229 or by e-mail. For information on institute subject matter, contact Jon Piper or Dwight Krehbiel, institute co-directors.


June 1
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 2–5
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 6
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Preparation of presentations
Noon Lunch
1:00–4:30 p.m. Student presentations