The Sound of Science

The Sound of Science - 'Ada Yonath'

Mar 27, 2020

 

Alexis: I’m Alexis from NIU STEM Outreach and this is the Sound of Science on WNIJ. Today I’m joined by Idalia. 

Idalia: We’re wrapping up our Women’s History Month episodes with Crystallographer Ada Yonath. 

Alexis: Dr. Yonath was born in Guela, Israel in the mid 1900’s. Her childhood was revolved around both her father’s medical conditions along with her constant desire to understand the principles of the nature around her. Her time in the army’s medical corps cemented her interest in clinical and medical issues. 

The Sound of Science - 'Nina Tandon'

Mar 20, 2020

Alexis: Welcome to the Sound of Science on WNIJ. I’m Alexis from NIU STEM Outreach.  

 

Idalia: And I’m Idalia. Today we will be discussing American biomedical engineer, Nina Tandon.  

 

Alexis: Dr. Tandon grew up in New York City with two siblings with visual impairments. It’s no wonder why she chose to investigate the electrical currents that underline the nervous system. 

 

The Sound of Science - 'Dr. Barbara McClintock'

Mar 13, 2020

Lavilla: Welcome to the Sound of Science on WNIJ. I’m Lavilla from NIU STEM Outreach.  

Alexis: And I’m Alexis. This March we’ll be celebrating Women’s History Month by featuring prominent women in STEM, like geneticist Dr. Barbara McClintock.

  

The Sound of Science - 'Sofia Kovalevskaya'

Mar 6, 2020

Livilla: Welcome to The Sound of Science on WNIJ. I’m Livilla from NIU STEM Outreach. Natalie will accompany me today as we explore women in the STEM field, such as pioneering mathematician Sofia  Kovalevskaya. 

The Sound of Science - 'Katherine Johnson'

Feb 28, 2020

Joe: Welcome to the Sound of Science on WNIJ. I’m Joe from NIU’s Center of Black Studies, and I’m here with Gaylen.

Gaylen: The 20’s and 30’s were a truly challenging time for outstanding women of color. But if there is one exemplary mathematician who overcame it all, it’s Katherine Johnson. 

The Sound of Science - 'Benjamin Banneker'

Feb 21, 2020

Joe: Welcome to the Sound of Science on WNIJ. I’m Joe from the NIU Center for Black Studies. 

Gaylen: And I’m Gaylen. Today we’re going to go back in time to talk about Benjamin Banneker.

The Sound of Science - 'Mae Jemison'

Feb 14, 2020

Gaylen: Welcome to The Sound of Science on WNIJ. I’m Joe from NIU Center for Black Studies. Joe will accompany me today as we dive deep into history. 

Joe: Mae Jemison might not be a household name, but she has been a powerhouse of science for the past 3 decades. She was the first black female astronaut, inspired by Lieutenant Uhura from Star Trek and Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. 

Sound of Science - 'Neil DeGrasse Tyson'

Feb 7, 2020

Joe: Welcome to The Sound of Science on WNIJ. We’re Joe and Gaylen from NIU Center for Black Studies. 

Gaylen: Today, Joe and I will explore black history beyond the stars. 

Joe:  The name Neil DeGrasse Tyson might sound familiar; he was a topic of discussion in the science community and public for a long time. His interest in the stars took off when he visited the Hayden Planetarium as a child, and from there a star was born. 

The Sound of Science - 'Tire Particles'

Jan 17, 2020

Jeremy: Welcome to the Sound of Science on WNIJ. I’m Jeremy from NIU STEM Outreach, and I’m here with my colleague Sam.

Sam: We have a question from a long-time STEM supporter, Gary.

Gary: Hi, I'm Gary and I live in Sycamore. I would like to know: what happens to all the rubber that wears off tires? Where does it go? I don't see it laying along the side of the road.

The Sound of Science - 'The Uncanny Valley'

Jan 10, 2020

Sam: Welcome to The Sound of Science on WNIJ. I’m Sam from NIU STEM Outreach. And with me is Jeremy. Today we’re going to venture into the Uncanny Valley. 

Jeremy: The Uncanny Valley is the curve of a graph that describes people’s appreciation of a creation that mimics humanity. At a certain point, the mimicry isn’t quite good enough and it causes a negative gut reaction. Something that is clearly a cutesy cartoon is fine, so is a movie about a clone, but a rubbery-faced robot with cold dead eyes is just too weird.

The Sound of Science - 'The Future of A.I.'

Jan 3, 2020

Sam: Welcome to the Sound of Science on WNIJ, I’m Sam from NIU STEM Outreach

Fred: And I’m Fred Williams from NIU Division of Information Technology. I’m not an expert in Artificial Intelligence, and I don’t think anyone can truly predict the speed and breadth of AI development. However, I have some ideas as to where AI is going.

The Sound of Science - 'Hacking Humans'

Dec 30, 2019

Sam: Welcome to the Sound of Science. I’m Sam from NIU STEM Outreach

Fred: And I’m Fred Williams from NIU Division of Information Technology. In the last few episodes we’ve discussed some of the ways cyber criminals infiltrate networks to gain information and how you can try to keep that from happening. But there are ways criminals attack you directly, and you’re probably constantly targeted.

Sam: The most common are forms of phishing. That’s fishing with a p h. These are messages designed to get you to login to fake services with your common usernames and passwords.

The Sound of Science - 'Cyber Attacks'

Dec 27, 2019

Sam: Welcome to The Sound of Science. I’m Sam from STEM Outreach. 

Jessica: And I’m Jessica from NIU Division of Information Technology. We’ve already talked about databases storing your information as hashes to make it more secure. Today we’ll talk about how an attacker can get ahold of those hashes in the first place.

The Sound of Science - 'Password Math'

Dec 18, 2019

Sam: Welcome to The Sound of Science. I’m Sam from STEM Outreach. 

The Sound of Science - 'Salted Hashes'

Dec 6, 2019

  

Sam: Welcome to the Sound of Science. I’m Sam from STEM Outreach. 

Jessica: And I’m Jessica from NIU Division of Information Technology. With cyber-attacks on everyone’s minds, we thought it would be nice to introduce some of the basics of password security.

Sam: We’ll get into how attackers get into databases in a future episode, but for now just imagine a large company just had a breach and your information is at risk. Let’s go into some of the measures that go into keeping your information secure.

The Sound of Science - 'Non-Newtonian Fluids Pt. 2'

Nov 29, 2019

Sam: Welcome to the Sound of Science on WNIJ. I’m Sam from NIU STEM Outreach.

Nicole: and I’m Nicole James from NIU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. I researched non-Newtonian fluids like Oobleck for my PhD.

Sam: Oobleck is a cornstarch and water mixture that acts kinda funny. It’s runny and goopy until you apply a sudden force, then it feels solid. It’s one of many non-Newtonian fluids.

The Sound of Science - 'Non-Newtonian Fluids'

Nov 22, 2019

Sam: Welcome to the Sound of Science on WNIJ. I’m Sam from NIU STEM Outreach.

Nicole: And I’m Nicole James from NIU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. I researched non-Newtonian fluids for my PhD.

The Sound of Science - 'Wastewater Injection'

Nov 15, 2019

Sam: Welcome to the Sound of Science on WNIJ, I’m Sam from NIU STEM Outreach.

Megan: And I’m Dr. Megan Brown from NIU Geology and Environmental Geosciences. I am a hydrogeologist interested in how fluids interact with and can induce earthquakes. 

Sam: Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has become less of a hot-button topic in the past few years, but it’s still a question we get asked every once in a while. I’ve asked Megan to dispel some myths, clear some things up, and give some tidbits about the science of hydraulic fracturing.

The Sound of Science - 'Hydraulic Fracturing'

Nov 8, 2019

Sam: Welcome to the Sound of Science on WNIJ, I’m Sam from NIU STEM Outreach.

Megan: And I’m Dr. Megan Brown from NIU Geology and Environmental Geosciences. I worked as a geologist in an environmental consulting firm on the East Coast, focusing on remediation of groundwater and soil. 

Sam: Megan is here to explain a bit more about hydraulic fracturing and maybe cast it in a slightly different light.

The Sound of Science - 'Floating Magnets'

Nov 1, 2019

Jeremy: Welcome to the Sound of Science on WNIJ. I’m Jeremy from NIU STEAM. 

Sam: And I’m Sam. Today’s question comes from Abus from Rockford.

Abus: I would like to know: why does magnetism make an object float? 

Jeremy: That’s an excellent question, Abus. I think most of us know that magnets can attract or repel each other depending on which way they’re facing. You might’ve even seen objects that seem to float in mid-air by using this magnetic force to oppose the force of gravity.

The Sound of Science - 'Particle Accelerators'

Oct 18, 2019

SAM: Welcome to the Sound of Science on WNIJ. I’m Sam from NIU STEM Outreach.

PHILIPPE: And I’m Philippe Piot from NIU Physics – and Sam, I want to talk about particle accelerators which are becoming increasingly useful for everyday life.

S: You and I could talk all day about them. For our listeners, though, give us a thumbnail.

P: Particle accelerators boost the energy of particles and beams for various applications. For example, CERN in Europe collided two proton beams to confirm the Higgs Boson back in 2012.

The Sound of Science - 'Interstellar Objects'

Oct 4, 2019

Jeremy: I’m Jeremy Benson with Sam Watt from NIU STEM Outreach, and it’s time for another episode of the Sound of Science on WNIJ.

Sam: Today’s question comes from Pablo, and it’s not just out of this world - it’s interstellar. Pablo asks, “How do scientists know if an object came from outside our solar system?”

Jeremy: That’s a really good question, Pablo. Especially since scientists are now studying the second interstellar object that we’ve detected.

The Sound of Science - 'Photographing a Black Hole'

Sep 27, 2019

Jeremy: I’m Jeremy Benson

Sam: And I’m Sam Watt

Jeremy: And this is the Sound of Science on WNIJ.

Sam: Today’s question comes from Peter who asks, “How can scientists take a picture of black hole?”

Jeremy: Let’s see if we can’t shed some light on that one for you Peter. You may have heard the team that produced the first black hole images just received an award for their work.  But how do you take a picture of something that doesn’t emit any light?

The Sound of Science - 'Kayaking'

Sep 20, 2019

Sam: Welcome to the Sound of Science on WNIJ. I’m Sam from NIU STEM Outreach. 

Christine: And I’m Christine from NIU Outdoor Adventures, and this weekend I’m going kayaking.

Sam: If you’ve never been in a kayak, it’s like most other boats - except really narrow. And light weight. And you’re almost sitting below the water level.

The Sound of Science - 'Rock Climbing'

Sep 13, 2019

Sam: Welcome to the Sound of Science on WNIJ. I’m Sam from NIU STEM Outreach. 

Christine: And I’m Christine from NIU Outdoor Adventures – and I’m going rock climbing! 

Sam: So what’s the science behind that – other than gravity? 

Christine: It’s about the life-saving engineering that keeps you from falling: the carabiner attached to the top, the belay device the safety person at the bottom uses, and the rope in between. 

Sam: Let’s start with the carabiner at the top. How does that giant metal clip keep a climber safe? 

The Sound Of Science - 'Cryptobiotic Soil'

Sep 6, 2019

SAM: Welcome to the Sound of Science on WNIJ. I’m Sam from NIU STEM Outreach.

CHRISTINE: And I’m Christine from NIU Outdoor Adventures. Ever wonder why parks and rangers insist that you stay on the trails?

SAM: I’m sure safety has a lot to do with it, but I wonder if sustainability also applies.

CHRISTINE: Yes, and that goes for every ecosystem – including deserts! Deserts have a unique system called cryptobiotic soil. 

SAM: Crypto meaning hidden, and biotic meaning living so… Soil we can’t see?

The Sound of Science - 'Biomimicry'

Aug 30, 2019

Sam: Welcome to the Sound of Science on WNIJ. I’m Sam from NIU STEM Outreach. 

Christine: And I’m Christine from NIU Outdoor Adventures. Do you know what biomimicry is?

Sam: Biomimicry… Christine, I really hope you don’t plan on spending the next two minutes making animal sounds.

Christine: (pig snort laugh) No, biomimicry refers to velcro, sharkskin swimming suits, spider silk -- things like that. Inventors and scientists look at the ways plants and animals have adapted to their environments to live, thrive, and survive.

Sam: Okay, how about an example?

The Sound of Science - 'Leave No Trace'

Aug 23, 2019

Sam: Welcome to the Sound of Science on WNIJ. I’m Sam from NIU STEM Outreach. 

Christine: And I’m Christine from NIU Outdoor Adventures. During our trips, we stress the idea of “Leave No Trace.”

Sam: Leave No Trace, like a stealthy rogue hiker?

Christine: No, more like a responsible and conscientious hiker. It’s simple things like picking up trash, sticking to the trails, and not feeding the animals.

Sam: Well that all seems logical, but I imagine there are reasons behind the ethics.

The Sound of Science - "Noise"

Aug 9, 2019

  

Welcome to The Sound of Science on WNIJ.

The Sound of Science - "The Chemistry Of Baking"

Aug 2, 2019

J: I'm Jeremy Benson from NIU STEM Outreach and I'm in the studio with Kate Powers. This is the Sound of Science on WNIJ.

K: Hi Jeremy, I hear you have a delicious question for me today.

J: That's right! This question is about the chemistry of baking. Lynn wants to know why many recipes call for both baking soda and baking powder. And what's the difference between the two?

K: Lynn's right. Many cookie or cake recipes call for both types of chemical raising agents.

J: Chemical raising agent? Are there other types of raising agents?

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