BASE Camp Projects

base_students11cBASE Camp projects offer students an informative and fun week-long experience with actual scientific research during the first week of camp. Projects change every year, allowing students to choose from a variety of topics including biomedical science, medicinal chemistry, forensics, developmental biology, evolutionary biology, marine ecology, software engineering, mechanical engineering, behavioral psychology, neuroscience, biophysics, and applied mathematics. Check out our 2013 list of projects below!

Investigating the Effects of Excercise on the Cardiovascular System
Shannon Gerry, PhD - Department of Biology

Exercise has dramatic effects on the physiology of the cardiovascular system as indicated by changes in heart rate and breathing rate. In this project, students will dissect sheep hearts to understand how blood flows through the heart and receives oxygen and then they will learn to measure several physiological parameters using techniques such as electrocardiography (EKG) and respirometry. Students will generate hypotheses on the relationships between exercise, heart rate and breathing rate and design an experiment to quantify these relationships in their fellow campers.

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How Our Oceans Move and Why We Care
Shanon Reckinger, Ph.D. - Department of Mechanical Engineering

Our oceans cover approximately 70% of the Earth’s surface making them an extremely important part of our climate system. In order to understand how and why our climate is changing, we must understand our oceans and how they work with the rest of the planet. In this project, we will explore the numerous ways of studying the ocean including computational models, observational data from satellites, experimental lab setups, and observations from our own eyes. Students will make connections between the ocean and the climate, and will also learn what they can do to make a difference. 

Testing Anti-Cancer Compounds on Human Leukemia Cells
Shelley Phelan, Ph.D. - Department of Biology

base_students11eCancerous cells have the ability to grow continuously without the proper cellular restraints. This research project will allow students to work with an established human leukemia cell line and learn how to grow these cells in the laboratory. Students will be introduced to a number of drugs used (or proposed) for cancer treatment. They will learn how to find relevant biomedical literature, how to design a cell-based experiment, and they will be asked to hypothesize about the effect of specific drugs on the growth of cancer cells. Then in the laboratory, students will learn how to use a pipette, culture human cells, observe and analyze cells with standard light microscopy, and measure cell growth and cell death in response to chemical treatment.

Forensic Science
Amanda Harper-Leatherman, Ph.D. – Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Forensic Science is the application of science to help solve crime. In this project, students will become crime scene investigators charged with the task of solving a 'crime' using experimental lab skills and critical thinking skills. We will explore and use specific scientific techniques for the analysis of crime scene physical evidence such as plastics, fabrics, oils, arson accelerants, fingerprints, and/or blood.

Cognitive Neuroscience:  The Frontal Lobes and Thinking
Margaret McClure, Ph.D. & Linda Henkel, Ph.D. – Department of Psychology 

Cognitive neuroscience is the area of psychology that examines the brain and how people think.  This project will teach students about brain structures and systems involved in complex human thought.  Students will run experiments exploring the frontal lobes and executive processes that enable us to pay attention, inhibit irrelevant thoughts and responses, control impulses, make decisions, switch between tasks, plan, and solve problems.