"/> Summer Science Institute | Bethel College, KS
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Seek. Serve. Grow.

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 4-9, 2017.

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 you indicate on your application 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:

(For both morning and afternoon, indicate your preferences from 1, most preferred, to 3, least preferred, on the application form)


Understanding and Measuring Attitudes
Distinguish conscious and unconscious attitudes, and design and implement empirical tools to measure and compare both attitude types for a topic of the students’ choosing. Our findings will lead to a discussion of psychological association, which will include an understanding of the possibilities and limitations for changing attitudes.
Play to Win
No one likes to lose! We’ll study game mechanics and strategies for winning, discuss ways to determine if a game is unfair, and analyze games that include some randomness as well as games where strategy alone determines the outcome.
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.
Face Memory in the Brain
Measure memory for faces of different groups of people to study how biases may arise from influences on visual memory. Brain electrical activity during memory processing will also be studied.

Faculty (listed in order of research areas above)

Bradley Celestin, Bethel alumnus
Graduate student in social psychology Ph.D. program, Indiana University
Lucas Kramer, Ph.D.
Assistant professor of mathematics
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
Guadalupe Gonzalez, Bethel alumna
Graduate student in cognitive neuroscience Ph.D. program, University of Texas-Austin

Several Bethel science students will assist the faculty.

Cost and Application

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

Application: The application consists of a completed application form, a letter of recommendation from a science or mathematics teacher who has worked with the student, and a non-refundable fee of $10. The recommendation should address (1) your experience and strengths as a student of science and mathematics and (2) how you will benefit from participation in the Bethel College Summer Science Institute.

The letter should be sent by the teacher to:
Bethel College Summer Science Institute
Attn: Marilyn Flaming
300 East 27th Street North Newton, KS 67117-1716
or e-mailed to mflaming@bethelks.edu.

The completed application should be sent or a scanned copy e-mailed by the student to the same address together with the non-refundable application fee of $10. Applications and recommendations must be received by May 1, 2017, in order to be considered.

Applicants will be chosen based upon their strengths in science and mathematics, the benefits they would be expected to receive, and their interest in Bethel’s programs in science and mathematics. In addition, preference will be given to students who have just completed the sophomore or junior year of high school. Students who are accepted will be notified by e-mail during the week of May 1, 2017. For those who are accepted, a registration fee of $40 and a photocopy of the student’s health insurance card will be required on the first day of the Institute.

Registration includes lodging in a Bethel residence hall, meals in the Bethel cafeteria, readings, a T-shirt and one hour of college credit. Each student is sponsored through a $500 donation from a Bethel science or mathematics 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. All accepted students will be required to confirm their intent to attend by telephone or e-mail after May 15. Students who do not confirm their intentions to attend by May 22 will be dropped from the roster so that others can attend.


For more information contact Admissions. For information on institute subject matter, contact Dwight Krehbiel orJon Piper, institute co-directors.


June 4
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 5–8
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 9
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Preparation of presentations
Noon Lunch
1:00–4:30 p.m. Student presentations