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07/05/2016

WISE Interns Tasked with Studying Water-Related Problems

Quick Facts

 Winthrop has received the Robert Noyce Scholarship grant through the National Science Foundation since 2010 and pairs it with additional funding from the Duke Energy Foundation to fund the Winthrop Initiative for STEM Educators (WISE) program.
 Students engaged in three research teams examining various water-related problems.

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The WISE interns gave presentations on their last day.
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Ten math and science majors from Winthrop University and York Technical College explored research, teaching and career options this summer as part of a Robert Noyce Scholarship grant.

Winthrop has received the grant through the National Science Foundation since 2010 and pairs it with additional funding from the Duke Energy Foundation to fund the Winthrop Initiative for STEM Educators (WISE) program.

Winthrop’s fifth WISE summer internship experience took place May 9-27. Students engaged in three research teams examining various water-related problems. One group looked at water issues from a mathematical perspective. Guided by Trent Kull of the Department of Mathematics, this team examined water contamination and purification in single- and multi-tank systems.

The second group used a variety of chemical processes to look at water quality. Under the direction of Christian Grattan of the Department of Chemistry, Physics & Geology, the students collected water samples from local sources to determine the presence of potential contaminants. The team then investigated possible sources for the contaminants and potential health issues related to their presence.

Janice Chism and Vickie Frost from the Department of Biology led the final group in biologically-focused research. This group examined the role of pollution on the environment and possible natural solutions to filter water through a wetland. The group used both ecological and microbiological methods to examine natural sources of water at the Winthrop Lake and Chappell Farm areas.

In addition to the science and mathematics research, WISE interns worked in science and mathematics classrooms at South Pointe High School in Rock Hill and South Middle School in Lancaster. Faculty members Kelly Costner of the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Casandra Bell of the Department of Biology coordinated the visits.

The interns also explored local sites with STEM connections, such as the Rock Hill wastewater treatment facility, a kayak tour down the Catawba River and the Discovery Place Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The 10 WISE Interns presented an overview of their team and individual explorations on May 27. They will be encouraged to engage in other WISE events as they continue to pursue their degree programs.

The 2016 WISE interns are:

Richard Carpenter, psychology/biology, York Technical College
Andie Davis, mathematics, Winthrop University
Ashley DiFalco, biology, Winthrop University
Austin Dover, mathematics, Winthrop University
Leyia Grant, mathematics, Winthrop University
Chanel Johnson, sciences, York Technical College
Maria Ojeda, chemistry, Winthrop University
Brent Shuman, biology, Winthrop University
Lexi Smith, biology, York Technical College
Jillian Viola, biology, Winthrop University

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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