Media advisory: Aquaponics, acid reflux demos and more! Summit to feature student science projects

A simple four-wheeled machine with a bulldozer-like scoop on one end.

This wheeled robot, which moves small objects from place to place, is one of the student-designed projects expected to be on display at Saturday's science summit. Credit: Stephen Rogers

Release Date: March 14, 2014 This content is archived.

Hands-on learning experiences "allow for students to have those ‘Aha!’ moments and make connections and discoveries they wouldn’t otherwise make.”
Carl Bish, teacher and ISEP participant
Bennett High School

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Students from 12 Buffalo schools will show off how much they’ve learned about science at a summit planned by some of their proudest supporters: Their parents.

At the March 15th event — which helps launch STEM Month in Buffalo — students are expected to present such projects as:

  • An aquaponics system, with plants growing in nutrient-rich water that’s recirculated from a fish tank
  • Photos documenting the stages of chick development inside eggs over three weeks
  • Machines that students built for the Science Olympiad, including a robot for moving small objects from place to place, a wheeled vehicle and a propellor-based device for dropping eggs without breaking them
  • Live demonstrations of how acid reflux works, using chemicals, an antacid tablet and a cardboard cutout of a human being

What: First Annual Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership (ISEP) Science Summit.

ISEP, a program to improve science education, is a $10 million partnership between UB, Buffalo Public Schools, the Buffalo Museum of Science and SUNY Buffalo State.

When: Saturday, March 15, 10:30-11:45 a.m.

Where: Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Parkway, Buffalo

Who: Dozens of middle and high schoolers from 12 Buffalo Public Schools will present hands-on projects from science classes and clubs. Corporate partners will also be on hand to talk about careers in science and summer research opportunities for teenagers in local labs.

Only students whose parents have signed media releases may be photographed, filmed or interviewed. Students with releases have been asked to bring them to the event, and members of the media should ask to see the releases before speaking with students.

On-Site Contact: Karen King, PhD, ISEP program manager, For King's cell phone number, please call Charlotte Hsu at 510.388.1831.

Why: District parents planned the event through the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership (ISEP), a $10 million program to improve science education in 12 Buffalo Public Schools.

ISEP is coordinated by Joseph Gardella, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor in chemistry at the University at Buffalo.

The program aims to fill Buffalo classrooms with hands-on activities that make science exciting for kids. With the program’s help, district teachers have given students unique opportunities, such as the chance to design and test miniature racecars and build websites using HTML and JavaScript.

Hands-on learning experiences are “all about student engagement,” says Bennett High School teacher Carl Bish, whose after-school science club will present on aquaponics and chick development. “They allow for students to have those ‘Aha!’ moments and make connections and discoveries they wouldn’t otherwise make.”

The summit was planned by parents, who meet monthly through ISEP to discuss their children’s learning experiences — and what families can do to reinforce teachers’ lessons.

For a list of the 12 schools that participate in ISEP and that will be sending students to the summit, visit

STEM Month: The science summit helps launch STEM Month in Buffalo, which begins March 15 and concludes with the inaugural Buffalo Public Schools Science Week from April 7-11.

STEM Month aims to strengthen the workforce pipeline in Western New York by raising awareness about the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) occupations and building stronger alliances between educational institutions and corporate partners in life sciences and advanced manufacturing.

STEM Month’s major organizers include the City of Buffalo and key educational institutions, including UB, SUNY Buffalo State, Erie Community College, Buffalo Public Schools, the Buffalo Museum of Science, and Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Summit sponsors:

  • The Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership (ISEP), led by UB, Buffalo Public Schools, the Buffalo Museum of Science and SUNY Buffalo State
  • ISEP educational partners Canisius College, Daemen College, Medaille College and Niagara University
  • ISEP corporate sponsors and partners Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Life Technologies and Praxair

Media Contact Information

Charlotte Hsu is a former staff writer in University Communications. To contact UB's media relations staff, email or visit our list of current university media contacts.