Gelinas Students Have Lunch With a Scientist

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P.J. Gelinas Junior High School eighth-grade Earth science students had the chance to attend a series of talks this year with renowned professionals as part of an initiative called “Lunch with a Scientist.” 

During the most recent event, students met with Professor William Holt, a geophysicist from the Department of Geosciences at Stony Brook University, who reviewed his research in plate tectonics and the geoscience profession. 

Professor Holt’s research focuses on the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates and the resulting stresses and strains produced across the North American continent. His talk was focused around the origin and current state of the San Andreas Fault in California. This famous North American feature was formed as the continent moved westward over an ancient sea-floor ridge. His research team measures the motion of the planet with a high degree of accuracy using GPS (global positioning satellites). 

During his discussion, Professor Holt even made use of a toy slinky to help demonstrate the way that different seismic waves move through our planet. The discussion also highlighted the positive job forecasts for the geoscience profession over the next decade due to both retirements and job growth. Overall, the experience broadened the students’ understanding of Regents-level concepts through an examination of cutting-edge research performed at our local research university. 

The “Lunch with a Scientist” series of talks was started this year to bring local experts into schools to discuss their field of work in STEM-based fields.