Saturday, March 28, 2015

Expo Aims to Teach Kids Science and Math Doesn't Have to be Boring

Bonnie Breland and Justin Williams demonstrate their
experiment during the Math and Science Expo Thursday.
Whoever said science and math can't be fun obviously has never tried burning materials soaked in rubbing alcohol or mixed a variety of food with liquid nitrogen. It's actually a lot of fun.

That was the whole point of this week's annual Math and Science Expo at Vol State. Each year both departments host a day of hands-on experiments to engage with area youth, hopefully sparking an interest in math or science at a young age. The Wallace Building was filled with about 100 different experiments both kids and adults could wrap their hands around.

"You've got college students engaged in science education and math education reaching out to a much younger audience from elementary and middle school, so it's a totally different kind of engagement," associate professor of chemistry Paris Powers said.

In one corner of one of the science labs, Bonnie Breland, Justin Williams, and Taylor Wiley were busy burning dollar bills that had been soaked in a 50-50 mixture isopropyl alcohol and water. Kids were amazed when the bill remained unharmed after being lit on fire.

"We wanted something quick that we could reenact many times over without using a whole lot of supplies, plus kids like fire," Breland said. "I know they don't understand everything that's going on in these experiments, but it catches their eye and they get an interest in science and maybe they'll have a career in it later on."

In another room during the expo, Holly Guldeman and Dustin Jones were busy demonstrating how the diaphragm worked using a model built of a water jug, balloons, and a Darth Vader mask. As expected, the demonstration went over well with the kids, which was exciting for science students such as Guldeman and Jones.

"I never got to do anything like this when I was a kid, but science in general isn't appreciated enough, so it's good to start when they're a little kid to help learn that appreciation," Guldeman said.

Jones agreed with his partner.

"We can put it on a level that they understand, because if you really dive deep into all this stuff, it's really complicated. We take those ideas and put it in simple terms that gets them interested and excited about science," he said.

For more on the expo, check out this gallery of photos from the event.

Photo Album: Math and Science Expo

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Summer and Fall 2015 Class Schedules are now Available.

You can now check to see what classes are coming up for summer and fall. You will find the class schedules in My Vol State. A reminder that Maymester classes are listed under summer. Why is it important to consider classes now? Priority Registration for sophomores (30 hours or more) starts at 8am on April 6. For Freshmen (less than 30 hours) it opens on April 7 at 8am. Use Degree Works and see your advisor now to pick classes. Get the classes you need at the times that you want by using Priority Registration for current students.

Course registration for new and readmit students opens on April 20. New students may need to take part in orientation first. Please keep an eye on your Vol State email account for details.

Do you have personal stuff that needs to be shredded? We can help on Saturday

Protect Your Identity – A Free Community Shredding Event
March 28, 2015
Shredding truck available at Volunteer State Community College

Volunteer State Community College students and local residents can protect themselves from identity theft by participating in a community shredding event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, March 28, 2015, at Pickel Field House parking lot off Gap Boulevard at Volunteer State Community College.
The free event allows students, faculties and local area residents to safely destroy records that have personable identifiable information on them.  The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security is sponsoring the event in coordination with MaxShred “The Touchless On-Site Shredding Company”, Volunteer State Community College Campus Police, Sumner County Sheriff’s Office and Gallatin Police Department. 
A shredding truck will be parked on the lot for anyone to bring paper items that they would like to be shredded, said Captain Troy Everett, of the Identity Crimes Unit of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
“Our main audience will be the students on campus and residence of the local community who may need the service to provide that extra comfort of security in today’s environment,” Everett said.
Citizens can bring a maximum of two boxes or trash bags of personal or private documents to shred. No cardboard or non-paper items will be accepted. 
All vehicles must be in line by 2 p.m. in order to discard their items. For directions to the Pickel Field House parking lot off Gap Boulevard, a printable campus map is available at . (Building #5 on Map)
For more information on the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Identity Crimes Unit’s free community shredding event, please call 615-289-6463 or 615-232-4109.

Pick Up a New Habit! Nunsense at Vol State This Weekend

Vol State students Stephanie Goodrum, Ren Creasy, and Hannah Meece play nuns
in the school's production of "Nunsense: The Mega Musical Version."
Nuns, spoiled food, and songs. These things might not seem like they go together, but in the world of "Nunsense: The Mega Musical Version," they do.

Starting tonight, the Volunteer State Community College Theater Program will present its production of the musical-comedy that follows a group of sisters who attempt to put on a show to raise money to bury fellow sisters who were accidentally killed by the convent cook's tainted soup.

It's an exciting production for theater students who are anxious to tackle musical theater, according to actors Stephanie Goodrum, Ren Creasy, and Hannah Meece.

"I'm more of an actor than a singer, so it's more challenging. I had to really work on that and the dancing. The acting was easy," Creasy said. "In every acting job, you're always going to try to step up and try something new, so this has been a good challenge."

"We've definitely gotten to experience how nuns are supposed to act and how they don't need to act," Goodrum added with a laugh.

The show features a variety of dance and song numbers, and Creasy said she hopes the show will provide a great piece of entertainment for the greater Vol State community.

"Our job as actors and performers is to let the audience have their moment of escape, so that's what I want for everyone who comes and watches this show. Just come, enjoy the show, laugh, and have a good time," she said.

Meek said she hopes the show will bring even more attention to the theater program at Vol State.

"I really hope the people that come and watch it just enjoy it and they get excited about coming back to Vol State for future productions.

The musical will begin at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Friday, and Saturday in the Wemyss Auditorium in Caudill Hall. A Sunday matinee performance will be presented at 2:30 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door. Vol State students get in free with their ID. For more information, call 615-230-3202.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Lights, Camera, Action! Vol State Student Lands Role in Indie Film

They say there are no small parts, only small actors.

But one Vol State student considers herself lucky to have landed a role in an upcoming independent horror film.

Kealani Hughes, a theater arts student and aspiring makeup artist, got involved after her friend and former Vol State student Nick Huntsman let her know a small production company called Deviant Pictures needed an artist for their upcoming horror sequel "The Hospital 2." After submitting some work, Hughes found herself in Alabama working on the movie.

"My goal is to be a special effects makeup artist. I want to be up there performing with my work. I like putting makeup more on other people than I do on myself, so I love special effects. That's what I want to do, so it was a great experience," she said.

The shoot lasted 10 days in late January as filming took place in Marion, Ala., with Hughes doing makeup work on the film. The filmmakers needed a small role filled, so Hughes auditioned and got the part of Officer Cooper, a rookie cop.

Vol State student Kealani Hughes as Officer Cooper in a still from "The Hospital 2."

Hughes described the film as a hardcore horror film about a haunted hospital, and it's definitely not designed for those who are squeamish.

"It is extreme hour. It's not for the kindhearted to say the least," she said with a laugh.

While the film might be shocking audiences when it's finally released in the fall, the experience making it was a lot of fun, according to Hughes. She learned a lot she can take into future filmmaking experiences.

"You just can't get 16 hours of experience working with a ton of people working by yourself at home. I just love it because it's not the same thing everyday," she said.

Find out more about "The Hospital 2," including behind-the-scenes pictures, and release date information, at the film's Facebook page.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Nunsense the Mega-Musical March 26-29

Singing and dancing nuns at Vol State from March 26-29. Check out Nunsense the Mega-Musical.