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 have provided significant financial support through the Sisters School Foundation. Sisters Science Club is now an independent 501c3 organization, and if you would like to donate now, click the button below.

And in case you missed our last science talk at the Belfry ... the one on sustainable dark matter by Dr. Larry Price ... the event was captured by one of our members, Don Utzinger, and is presented below.

As you most likely know, the Sisters Science Club has joined the effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus by cancelling our March 24 lecture date. Our April and May lectures have also been cancelled for now.

Our scheduled April speaker, Dr. Ellen Peters, specializes in science communication at the University of Oregon; she is understandably and completely swamped by her work helping direct the UO response to the pandemic. Her lecture has been postponed until next year.

It is unlikely that we will be able to present Dr. Bob Collins' lecture at The Belfry in May,  but we are exploring some alternatives, such as an online presentation.

Meanwhile, please take care and support our scientists and medical professionals by getting out of the way of the virus--social distancing, hand-washing, and staying at home as much as you can.

Kathy, Cal, Bob and Victoria
Sisters Science Club Board of Directors

The March 24th presentation of the 2019-20 Frontiers in Science Monthly Symposium series in Sisters HAS BEEN CANCELLED!

Flight Science Hutchinson Sisters Health Education Sisters Schools

Dr. Ellen Peters, the speaker who had been scheduled for our April Belfry talk, has an interest in how scientific knowledge is communicated, and this is especially relevant in light of several pressing problems facing our species right now ... including both the ongoing corona virus pandemic and the existential threat posed by global warming. Her talk will be rescheduled for our 2020-21 season. In the video below, one can see how, even if warned of danger by a well respected member of society, scientific information is often ignored in favor of pursuing short term goals.

in 2014, the Ebola virus stuck, and the US used its assets to help contain it. In 2016, President Obama established the National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense as part of the United States Security Council ... because dangers posed by this kind of threat and also because of concerns raised by epidemiologists and business celebrities like Bill Gates. One might conclude that we had learned a valuable lesson, and would not be caught flat-footed again. That was not the case. Here's a perspective from the woman who used to run this team.

During the age of European Exploration, great commercial powers were determined to find a shortcut to Asia via an envisioned "Northwest Passage." As we all know, these efforts failed ... because the sea surrounding the north pole was frozen year round. The backing picture above shows the extent of the northern sea ice during September 2019 ... and now there is clear sailing through these waters. As this report details, climate change is a fact ... not a political construct as some continue to claim.

And not only is sea ice disappearing, but so is the ice on Greenland. Because this ice is resting on land, when it melts it contributes directly to sea level rise. As sea level rises, densely populated areas are at risk. Are government officials and members of the general public actually aware of these issues? That is what the next Belfry talk will be all about.

This is a schematic of the COVID-19 virus. Knowing something about it can help all of us mitigate its threat to a surprising degree.

The internal yellow coil is RNA which uses the cells mechanics to make new viruses for rapid excretion. Thousands of new viruses exit each infected cell, and each individual person becomes primed to infect 2-3 other individuals in about 7 days. From the virus’s point of view this is a total success

We can interfere with this process by knowing just a bit more about the virus's construction. The pink protein spikes attach the virus to cells. The blue surface protein (HE) gets the virus inside the cell. These surface proteins will be used to make a vaccine ... and once that's done, these same features will be used to erradicate the virus.

The next part of the virus is something that we can attack ourselves. The red envelope is a lipid sheath, which, for non-scientific people means it's a type of fat, or oil that protects the virus's internal structure. That means that this layer can be dissolved in 60% alcohol-based sanitizers and even ordinary soap.

Killing the virus directly is also possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rsuggests that a diluted bleach solution (⅓ cup bleach per 1 gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per 1 quart of water) for virus disinfection. The CDC also writes that household (3 percent) hydrogen peroxide is effective in deactivating rhinovirus, the virus that causes the common cold, within 6 to 8 minutes of exposure. Rhinovirus is more difficult to destroy than coronaviruses, so hydrogen peroxide should be able to break down coronavirus in less time. Pour it undiluted into a spray bottle and spray it on the surface to be cleaned, but let it sit on the surface for several minutes. Using these common household chemicals can protect you and your family to a significant degree, and is something that you can actually do to minimize risk. Recommended.

One of our founders, Dr. Bob Collins, has put together a short paper on this virus, and you can access it here. Won't take 5 minutes to catch up. If you'd like to read what the CDC offers on this topic, click here. Among other things, the CDC recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S.. More Information on Mass Gatherings

If you are interested in seeing how this pandemic spread ... and continues to spread ... click here for a virus tracker developed by Fred Hutch expert Trevor Bedford, or here to learn more about his work.

Again, our plans have changed, and the remainder of Belfry talks for this season have been cancelled. But not to worry, the popular series will return in the fall ... so stay tuned!