Lawrence Technological University’s Ask the Professor program brings LTU faculty to your classroom to share their expertise with your high school students in fun workshops and presentations – all free of charge. The sessions are generally an hour long, but are flexible given the specific workshop. Below is the list of topics to choose from. If you are a teacher, principal or counselor interested in having a workshop at your school, please fill out the school interest form here.  

For more information or to schedule your visit, contact LTU’s Marburger STEM Center at marburgerstemcenter@ltu.edu or visit www/ltu.edu/stem-center.

Current Offerings

What Is Design and What Does a Design Career Look Like?
Karl Daubmann, Dean, College of Architecture and Design
The design field encompasses a wide range of careers and activities. Designers tackle real-world problems and work in every industry. Students learn how designers’ creativity impacts every aspect of our lives, from the clothes we wear, the websites we surf, the buildings we live in, to the cities we enjoy.

The Technology of Design: Tools and Techniques Designers Use
Karl Daubmann, Dean, College of Architecture and Design
The tools that designers use to realize their ideas are evolving as quickly as the field. With the use of real-world projects as examples, students learn about digital design, computer coding, simulations, 3D printing, and robotic fabrication.

Controlling the Message with Photography
Steve Rost, Chair, Department of Art and Design
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Words can change the meaning or intention of a photograph and the combination of words and photographs can change the world. This hands-on workshop explore these ideas. Students create a poster with original photographs and apply words to craft a meaningful message.

Design a Personal Logo and Wear It!
Lillian Crum, Assistant Professor, Graphic and Interaction Design
Graphic designers use symbols, color, and typography in logo design to convey the essence of a company or organization. Logos are used as identifying touchpoints in larger brand design systems. Students learn how to design a unique, meaningful logo for themselves that expresses their interests and characteristics. Their logo designs will then be applied to a t-shirt to take home and wear.

Digital Fabrication in Architecture
James Stevens, Chair, Department of Architecture
Digital tools are changing the way we build architecture, and students will see how through demonstrations of both computer software and digitally controlled machines. They will learn about the opportunities these tools provide and gain a better understanding of how the field of architecture will change in the future.

Iterate, Don't Play Guide to Game Development
Mars Ashton, Assistant Professor, Game Art
Students explore the many facets of developing games, from the creation of art assets, designing levels, and engineering mechanics to a fun and engaging session of "playtesting." Students will learn about some of the misconceptions about video game creation, what it takes to get into the field, and how they can prepare for a career in game development. Various related disciplines, like film and VFX, will also be discussed.

Back to the Future
Ed Orlowski, Associate Professor, Architecture
Working in groups, students will be given an object that we use every day. Employing various sources for reference, they will build a rough historical timeline illustrating the major antecedents of that object and identifying significant historical and social events that have occurred in its lifetime. The teams will then imagine the next evolutionary step in the development of the item, forecasting how technology and society will change as well.

Rethinking Planet Earth: Five Designers Who Are Changing Our World
Scott Shall, Associate Dean, College of Architecture and Design
Designers are uniquely equipped to offer the insight needed to provide food, water, shelter, and education to a world in increasing need. Within the hands of the designer, formerly overlooked materials find new voice and existing traditions are given new life. This session will feature five designers who are helping to create a more inclusive, sustainable, and equitable planet.

Guerilla Design: Helping Others with Small-Scale, Creative Action
Scott Shall, Associate Dean, College of Architecture and Design
Guerilla design is used to promote an idea or social cause in an imaginative and unconventional way without spending a lot of money. Small-scale acts of creative work can have a profound impact on communities if they are thoughtfully conceived, executed, and supported. Learn about guerrilla-inspired acts of humanitarian design and the strategies and goals behind them.

Break the Box: Interior Design Challenge
Karen Swanson, Director, Interior Architecture
Chris Stefani, Associate Director, LTU’s Detroit Center for Design + Technology
Through the manipulation of a cardboard box, students learn how to convey a sense of depth and dimension and begin to understand how the use of a physical model can influence the design process.

Choose Your Adventure: Archi-Comics
Aaron Jones, Professor, Architecture
Employing model making, photography, creative writing, and printing, students produce small scapes, structures, and scenarios that will be formatted into sci-fi architecture comics. This workshop will run for approximately three hours and result in a print comic.

Choosy Developers Choose GIF
Steve Coy, Professor, Art and Design Students will learn the basic technical functions of a moving image. Using cell phone cameras and computer software to generate their own moving images, they will save their images in a GIF format to publish on the web. The students will also learn a basic interface for Photoshop.
Scientists of Color: Beyond George Washington Carver
Sibrina Collins, Executive Director, LTU’s Marburger STEM Center
During this interactive session, students learn about the important intellectual contributions of women and scientists of color such as Dr. Evelyn Boyd Granville, who worked on NASA’s Apollo program, and Alice Augusta Ball, who developed a treatment for leprosy. Student teams will prepare and present a poster on a multicultural scientist for a Gallery Walk.

Why Nursing?
Therese Jamison, DNP, ACNP-BC, Director, Nursing
The nursing profession is growing at a much faster rate nationally than all other professions, and nurses are in great demand. Students explore the basics of a nursing career and what kind of experiences they can expect in the profession. They will also learn about the type of education they should pursue to become a nurse and what LTU’s nursing program offers students.

Personalized Medicine/Pharmacogenomics
Julie Zwiesler-Vollick, Associate Chair, Department of Natural Sciences
How can we use our genetic information? One way is to understand how our unique genomes may impact the way we respond to pharmaceuticals. In this presentation, students will be introduced to how new technologies and advances in genetics are able to create medicine that is specific to individual patients.

Media Gone Wild
Jody Gaber, Director, Media Communication
Students will learn how dramatically the industry has changed across the many types of media, including radio, film, music, news, and magazines. They will also explore media career opportunities and the skills they will need to succeed in the industry.

A Tunnel through the Center of the Earth?
Scott Schneider, Associate Professor, Physics
If we could make a tunnel through the center of the Earth, how long would it take an object to drop through and come out the other side? In this presentation, students learn about speed inside the earth and if it is possible to make a “gravity train” between two cities.

How Do We Know There Are Planets Around Other Stars?
Scott Schneider, Associate Professor, Physics
When we search for planets around other stars, how do we find them when we can’t see them? Scientists can use the transit/brightness or Doppler (motion of the star) methods. Find out how these methods work and what discoveries scientists have made using them.

LIGO and Gravitational Waves
Scott Schneider, Associate Professor, Physics
For the first time, scientists at LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) have directly detected gravitational waves – ripples in space and time. Scientists also have measured the collision between five pairs of black holes and one pair of neutron stars – all by measuring REALLY TINY shifts in a mirror.

How do they do it? Discovering New Drugs
Shannon Timmons, Associate Professor, Chemical Biology
How are new drugs to treat disease discovered? Learn about the emerging discipline of chemical biology and how chemical biologists use the tools of chemistry to solve biological problems and develop new medicines.
Microrobots: Future Medical Infantry
Wuming Jing, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Is it possible to do surgery inside our bodies without any messy cutting? Students will explore how technology is changing the way we perform surgical procedures. They will learn about microrobots so small that they can enter the body, without harming tissue, to perform surgery. These tiny robots, made using the same technology used to fabricate the Intel Core i-7 computer chip, are revolutionizing medicine.

Creativity, Problem Solving, and the Engineering Design Process
Andrew Gerhart, Professor, Mechanical Engineering
As dramatized in the movie Apollo 13, engineers solve problems creatively but with a systematic approach using a unique set of tools. What is this approach and how do the skills learned in STEM courses create the foundation? What are the prospects for engineering problem solvers? Students will explore tools for creativity within the problem-solving and design processes with hands-on techniques used by engineers and scientists.

Women in Engineering
Lisa Anneberg, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Although the number of women engineers today has improved since the early 1980s, when only 5.8 percent of engineers in the U.S. were women, it’s still frustratingly low. Only about 20 percent of all engineering degrees are awarded to women, although women now outnumber men in college. As a result, there is significant demand for women in engineering. Students will learn how women can prepare to be successful in the field.

Vehicle Speed – The Math of Going Fast
Nishantha Bandara, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering
Transportation agencies measure vehicle speed to establish safe and reasonable speed limits and manage traffic. Police do it to enforce traffic laws. Students use a radar gun on radio-controlled cars and nearby vehicles to learn about the different ways to measure speed and how to establish speed limits through statistical methods.

Bridge Designs
Keith Kowalkowski, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering
Civil engineers design bridges to withstand the stress of moving vehicles, wind, snow, and even earthquakes. Students learn about the different types of bridges and how they are constructed. Demonstrations performed on small-scale bridge models will graphically illustrate how moving vehicles and other stresses weaken bridges to the point of failure.

Noise Pollution
Edmund Yuen, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering
How noisy is too noisy? When does too much noise become unhealthy? How do we evaluate noise levels? Students use noise meters to chart the outdoor and indoor noise level patterns of a lawn mower and a vacuum cleaner. They will explore the characteristics of sound and the physics of noise propagation and evaluate methods to reduce noise to acceptable levels.

Network and Computer Security
George P. Pappas, Faculty, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Network and computer security is a very important area in engineering and in our daily lives. Students learn how to identify and troubleshoot various network and computer security issues. They will have an opportunity to use tools that professional network security engineers utilize in solving complex network security issues. They will be introduced to basic security principles, practices, and vulnerabilities such as buffer overflows, attacks and defenses, denial-of-service attacks, distributed denial-of-service attacks, intrusion detection, internet protocols, OSI model, TCP/IP, internet standards, internet authentication applications, and wireless network security.
Developing Leadership Potential
Patricia Castelli, Professor, College of Management
Students learn how to begin developing leadership skills. This session will take the students through a series of exercises and activities to help them capitalize on their leadership strengths and develop other critical skills to improve their overall effectiveness as leaders.

The Power of Teamwork
Patricia Castelli, Professor, College of Management
In this session, students learn how to work more effectively in teams. They will participate in a number of team-building exercises to help them understand the roles and responsibilities necessary for effective teamwork and to develop the skills to become high-functioning team players.

Learning through Reflection
Patricia Castelli, Professor, College of Management
Understanding the impact of our actions and behaviors is important in effectively navigating life’s challenges, particularly in today’s multicultural world where the norms have changed dramatically. Through reflection, students in this session will work to develop mindfulness and become more aware of their personal blind spots so that they can overcome negative behaviors and perceptions and begin to view themselves and others more accurately.

Leading Positive Change in Our Lives and With Others
Jackie Stavros, Professor, College of Management
Students learn how to create positive change in their teams and community groups through AI (appreciative inquiry). They will explore a number of strategies, including the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen teams to achieve positive outcomes.

Building a Dynamic Strategy that Allows You to SOAR
Jackie Stavros, Professor, College of Management
SOAR (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results) is a profoundly positive approach to strategic thinking, planning, and leading. Students will learn about SOAR and its strategies to help them achieve success. They will then create a value set, vision board, and purpose statement to help them identify goals and objectives to explore their dreams.

Engaging in Conversations That Help Us Thrive and Flourish
Jackie Stavros, Professor, College of Management
Students learn how to create and engage in conversations that are productive and meaningful. This workshop will detail how two practices and five principles can help everyone communicate better and flourish in all areas of their lives. This method can strengthen relationships and generate possibilities for an environment that works for everyone.