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Workshops from PAST GiST Events

The workshops listed below are representative of workshops and activities at previous GiST events, while actual workshops at each event may vary. The participants will see three workshops during their GiST event, and we are always adding new workshops! If you are interested in running a workshop, or have questions for guidance on developing a workshop for GiST or BATS, please email us

Host Department/ Organization Title Description
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology A Little Birdie Told Me Come be a scientist-in-training: build your own local bird field guide, make your own sound recordings, and learn what it's like to be a bird in the city.
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Beat The Heat

Join us as we explore how cold-blooded animals (ectotherms) manage to keep cool in a changing climate!  We will experiment with gummy frogs to explore how ectotherms' physical traits and behaviors allow them to regulate body temperature in an ever-changing environment and learn about the many life-sustaining processes that depend upon their ability to do so.

Biomedical Engineering Build a Robot Hand

Imagine how cool it would be to build a robot hand that could grasp a ball or pick up a toy. In this Biomedical Engineering project, you will learn how to use drinking straws, string, and tape to make a remarkably useful and fun hand. What will you design your hand to do? It is up to you!

Physics and Engineering Physics Building Bridges

Have you ever wondered how bridges are able to support the weight of all the cars that drive over them? Join us to build your own bridges and learn about engineering!

Ochsner Education Outreach Cancer Cell Death This session will focus on how mutations cause cancer because mutations can change how proteins in the cells work.  Students will look at the effectiveness of different drugs to fight/kill cancer cell using pH indicators to measure dead cells. Which of the three is the best candidate for further development?
Physics and Engineering Physics Cards to the Sky! Cards to the Sky actively engages students in an open-ended design challenge and introduces key concepts associated with customer-focused engineering design and entrepreneurially minded learning.
Chemistry Chemistry Colors We will be preparing a color coded density column consisting of different liquids you’re familiar with around the house. We'll make predictions about which liquid will be on top and then we'll suspend small objects into the column to demonstrate their relative densities. We will also be making a sugar rainbow!
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Climate Ever wonder how animals (and people!) handle the New Orleans Summer? Come discover how they do it, and learn to use tools scientists use to help you be a biologist!
Electric Girls Circuits Snap circuits and squishy circuits are totally hands on – come join us in learning by discovery!
Cell and Molecular Biology Cracking the Genetic Code You’ve probably heard of or learned about DNA, but have you ever seen it? In this lab you’ll be the geneticist and learn how to extract DNA from any living thing. We’ll isolate, observe, and learn about DNA and how it makes you!
Computer Science Creative Computation What is computer science all about? We will share our experiences and explain what it's like to major in technology sciences. You’ll get to experiment with coding by playing the game "Code with Anna and Elsa" and moving the ice skating princesses by programming their positions.
Computer Science Demystifying Code Our workshop consists of providing a set of coding exercises and an introduction to coding for students to work through on a computer.
Chemistry Enzyme Kinetics

Join us for a fun enzyme kinetics experiment, where you will use empty soda bottles and hydrogen peroxide as well as yeast we buy from the grocery store to see the amazing effects of enzymes! Warning: things may get foamy and colorful.

Neuroscience Exploring Your Brain Become brain scientists and discover how our brains allow us to feel, think, and remember. You’ll touch & explore real brains and conduct experiments to learn how our nervous system works.
Physics Fluids, Bubbles, and Slime This workshop is about the science of fluids. It is also about getting your hands wet and slimy, so roll up your sleeves! Have you ever heard that oil and water don’t mix, that they don’t like each other? In this workshop, you will see how you can make them friendly and make them mix. You will learn how to make a chunk of iron float in water and you will make a soap powered boat. Using our secret recipe, you will prepare a bowl of liquid slime that becomes rock hard when you punch it!
Anthropology Fossils and Human Evolution Ever wonder what makes humans human? What your ancestors looked like millions of years ago? Join us and learn about human evolution through the fascinating world of fossils!
Kinesiology Fun with Physiology Students will learn concepts that will help them understand the “why” behind common measurements they may be familiar with when visiting the doctor, such as how measures of heart rate and blood pressure can help health professionals and researchers understand heart health. We will explore the concepts of wakefulness and rest on autonomic nervous system function and measure the effect of a short periods of high-intensity exercise.
Mathematics Get Your Game On, with Math Do you like to play games? This workshop will introduce you to a few new games and you'll explore how to find the best strategies to win! Can you use math to find a strategy that works every time?
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Growing Algae Students will learn how to grow algae, the importance of algae and the dangers of harmful algae which are caused by nutrient runoff.
Computer Science Hour of Code The Hour of Code is a global movement by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org that has reached tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Join them for a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming.
Grand Challenge Scholars The Human Eye We will be discussing a model eye, colorblindness, and eye tracking.
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology The Journey South: Can Monarch Butterflies Fight Infection to Survive Migration? Each year as winter approaches in North America millions of animals migrate to warmer locations. One species of insect – the monarch butterfly – migrates further than any other insect in the US. However, if monarchs are sick they often are unable to survive the long journey. Help us collect butterflies from the field, test them for disease and determine if they are strong enough to survive migration.
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Learning to Lizard In this workshop, students will be learning about the characteristics, adaptations, and behaviors of local lizards (green and brown anoles).
Earth and Environmental Science Making Earthquakes Students will explore online and solve ‘Where on Earth’ mystery. The workshop will include scenario in Cascadia (Seattle or Portland area) and another in Alaska (volcano eruption).
Chemistry Material Girls - The Chemistry of Nylon What do parachutes, leggings, and your toothbrush have in common? They're all made up of nylon! Stop by and learn how easy and fun it is to make this incredible material!
Chemical Engineering Microbes in the Kitchen! Have you ever wondered why bread has all those holes or bubbles in it? Well, that's because of a fungus!
Earth and Environmental Sciences The Missing Tooth We will explore a sample of 10 million year old shark teeth from Gainesville, Florida. We will take a virtual field trip to the site of collection before playing with and sorting through a real life sample! Come find some fossils with us...
Anthropology Monkeys, Apes, and You Fascinated by the monkeys and apes that you see at the Audubon Zoo? Ever wonder why they behave so much like your brother or sister? Come spend some time with us and channel your inner ape!
Anthropology New Life in Buried Bones Learn how human bones are like a “boney diary” that record all sorts of information about a person: your health, the food you eat, and even injuries! Discover how studying human bones and mummies can help us explore the archaeological mysteries of the past. Learn how examining skeletal remains can be useful in solving modern-day crimes. Let’s bring human bones to life!
Earth and Environmental Sciences Our Diverse Planet

Ever wondered what your house looked like from space? In this workshop, we’ll learn about Google Earth and how geologists use satellite images to learn about our world. We’ll explore places near and far and learn about how different landscapes are formed across the globe!

Physics and Engineering Physics Periscopes and Telescopes Periscopes and telescopes are optical tools that bring power to our eyes. But how do they work? In this workshop we will build and test periscopes and telescopes and explore the principles behind them.
Physics and Engineering Physics Photovoltaics Lab: Power from the Sun! In one hour, more energy from sunlight reaches the Earth than the amount of energy humans use in a full year! Photovoltaic cells can capture sunlight, converting it directly to electricity. In this workshop, we will work with photovoltaic solar cells to explore how sunlight is collected and used to power electronics.
Chemical Engineering Polymer Hydrogels

Why are diapers super absorbent? In between the layers of plastic and cotton fibers is a hydrogel, or “water-gel.” Come perform experiments with us to explore the properties of hydrogels. How much water can they hold? Which brand of diapers is really the best?

Psychology Psych—Get Inside the Mind Have you ever wondered what makes other people tick? If so, you may be interested in psychology. Psychology is the scientific study of human thoughts, feelings, and behavior. You’ll learn about the methods that psychologists use to study how children develop. You’ll then get to play a game developed by psychologists to understand how people decide whether to cooperate or compete with other people.
Computer Science Random Fun Is there a fast way to predict a random number? We will write the computer code for a guessing game and learn why computer science is useful for more than just machines.
Chemical Engineering The Science of Bread In this workshop, we will use air balloons to demonstrate how gas is released as a result of the process of fermentation. We will also have a short presentation explaining the use of yeast in engineering labs. Finally, we will look at yeast that contain a glowing molecule under the microscope!
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology The Secret World of Fungi Fungi are everywhere! Join us in looking at fungi in crazy places and grow your own pet fungi. Help us make new discoveries about the fungi on Tulane’s campus.
Earth and Environmental Science Something's Fishy Fish come in all shapes and sizes - small enough to fit on your fingertip and big enough to swallow you whole! Ichthyologists are fish scientists who research these fascinating creatures. We will watch videos on how the Coast Guard collects data on sharks in the Gulf. We'll talk about what the different body forms of fish tell us about their feeding habits and where they live in the water. You'll get to design your own fish using what you learned and try identifying and manipulating preserved specimens to see all the diversity of fish shapes!
Chemistry The States of Matter, Density, and Molecular Motion Explore different states of matter with experiments using liquid nitrogen and dry ice!
Valero Strength in Pulleys Sponsored by Valero
River-Coastal Science and Engineering Tiny Crabs, Big Ocean In this workshop we will explore the effects of an oil spill on the food web of the Gulf of Mexico. You will also learn about the fascinating life cycle of the blue crab and get a chance to look up close at baby crabs before they even look like crabs!
Biomedical Engineering Tissue Engineering We will explore designing tissues through engineering and then build some tissues of our own! In our lessons we will make our own engineered organs and we will look at the similarities between making cookie dough and tissue engineering-yum!
Earth and Environmental Sciences Tulane Conservation Biologists Your job is to develop a habitat conservation plan for a newly discovered lizard found only on the Tulane campus. Learn how biologists use GPS and collect data on animal habitat use!
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Unbe-leaf-able! Kids will be exploring the diversity of leaf shape and form in the great outdoors, and then will collect leaves to measure and compare size and shape. They will draw leaves and make collections to keep! We will talk about the adaptive importance in different leaf types of plants!
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology What's the Buzz About?! Have you ever wondered why bees are always buzzing around flowers? Did you know that bees can actually communicate with one another about where flowers are located? This workshop will explore pollinator-flower interactions and will also give students the opportunity to work on their bee dancing skills.
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology What is a Bird? Students will learn what a bird is (feathers, bones, anatomy) and do a mist-net exercise with Audubon bird plushies (that make bird call sounds) where they get to toss the plushies into a mist-net, extract them, and learn how to use a field guide to ID the birds. 
Biology Wilderness Explorers: Tulane Learn what it’s like to be a wildlife biologist! Join us on a scavenger hunt using GPS’s, and learn how to radio track as we search for treasure around the Tulane campus. 

Due to the number of students that enroll in our program, we cannot take requests to participate in any particular workshops. We do our best to place returning students in new workshops based on the information you provide at registration. Thank you for understanding!