The Sisters Science Club

We are a community based organization that strives to enhance science, math, and health in the schools and community through seven main areas.

CLICK ON ONE OF THE STARS on the image to the right & explore the club's activities.

Founded January 2011, the club is comprised of approximately 350 members - but there is no clubhouse, administration, or required annual dues. Rather, the club works by the community bringing volunteers and financial support to enhance the good ideas of the school's science teachers.

The club enjoys close support from Kiwanis, Rotary, The Roundhouse Foundation, The Sisters Garden Club, Energyneering Solutions, Saint Charles Medical Center, Cascades East Area Health Education Center (CEAHEC) and has been awarded grant support from the Oregon Community Foundation and the Meyer Memorial Trust.

Most importantly, numerous individuals see value in these programs and provide financial support through the Sisters School Foundation, a 501c3 organization. If you would like to join this effort, click here to reach our president!

From time to time the club receives thankyou notes from people, and the one that accompanied this illustration touched us. Our commitment to science education is unwavering, and your contributions are essential if we are to continue to innovate, explore and invest in science education and literacy. Click here to donate!

The 2019 SciArt Contest top entries are shown in the movie below. As you can tell, we have some very talented students!

We also had a very successful science fair this year, where perhaps the biggest draw was the growing astronomy program at the high school. Instructor Rima Givot was instrumental in this as well as in obtaining another NSF grant for watching the night sky and engaging students in the RECON program ... helping characterize the Kuiper Belt that lies between Neptune and the dwarf planet Pluto. Stay Tuned!.

The seventh presentation of the 2018-19 Frontiers in Science Monthly Symposium series in Sisters is titled "The Brain Makes the Mind," and is presented by Dr. Robert Collins, on Tuesday, May 7th.

Flight Science Hutchinson Sisters Health Education Sisters Schools

Last week our focus was on how social media can trick us into believing things that aren't true, and this week we are discovering how our actual perceptions can be tricked into seeing things that aren't even there. In the video above, for example, our visual systems turn flickering dots of light into actual words that we can read ... an amazing feat, and one that we use all the time without even being aware of the process.

Machine vision ... even the most advanced forms ... is not now able to do things that humans do easily. In the example below, although a machine could determine that the first image was a panda, the addition of even a small bit of digital noise to the image resulted in a major identification error.

In this example, the addition of the digital noise not only seduced the machine into making an error, but also made it more confident in its identification. How does this square with how this kind of technology is being used in China?

 

 

Dr. Collins was an academic neurologist for 35 years. A graduate of Cornell University Medical School, he completed an internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, research training at the National Institutes of Health, and neurology training at Cornell-New York Hospital before moving to Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he was Professor of Neurology and of Anatomy and Neurobiology.

In 1987, Dr. Collins was named Frances Stark Professor and Chairman in the Department of Neurology at UCLA, where his dedication to the academic pursuit of scholarship in research and education was the hallmark of his tenure. He retired in 2004 and co-founded the Sisters Science Club in 2011.

His presentation on May 7th will describe some startling, and perhaps disturbing information ... describing how, even though all human brains are essentially the same, they become unique in surprisingly fundamental ways. He will describe how, even though we may feel "in control" of our behavior, we now have evidence that, to a large degree, our conscious self does the bidding of a control system that remains largely in the shadows, and that what we see, isn't actually what "is." And we now know that this applies to all of our conscious perceptions ... and memories as well. It's little wonder we often disagree with one another, become quarrelsome, and may even come to violence over differing perceptions of "reality."

And, if you think that machines only make mistakes in interpreting the "real world," well the video below describes just how falible human systems can be.

The presentation is bound to be fascinating, and I suspect we will all, once again,come away knowing a lot more than when we entered The Belfry. General Admission: $5.00. Teachers and Students are free. Social hour begins at 6, and the lecture starts at 7. See you there!

And in case you missed Dr. Collins' presentation at the Belfry, we'd like to thank Don Utzinger for recording it ... and here it is! (Once you click on the video, press f on your keyboard to go full screen ... Esc to return.) If you'd like to read the full essay that forms the underpinning for this presentation, click here.