The Ohio State University at Lima


Lima City Schools students focus on the periodic table for 2019 science series

November 14, 2019

Students from the Lima City Schools will be at Ohio State Lima Mon., Nov. 18, 2019, to continue their experience with Stardust 2019: The William Fowler Science Series. They will visit a variety of labs including chemistry, astronomy and biological chemistry. They will also spend some time with current Ohio State students.

As part of the science series, Dr. Jennifer Johnson, professor of astronomy, will speak to the students at 11:15 a.m., in the Martha W. Farmer Theatre for the Performing Arts. The focus of the fifth annual series is the origin of the elements and the periodic table, which celebrates its 150th birthday in 2019. Leading up to the day on campus, the visiting seventh grade students have been learning how the periodic table is organized and how the elements are arranged. Dr. Johnson will expand on these concepts to include her work in stellar abundances and the origin of the elements, topics which are related to the areas for which Dr. Fowler won the Nobel Prize.

The public is welcome to attend Johnson’s talk but seating priority will be given to students.

Prior to her visit to campus, Dr. Johnson will connect digitally with the students to discuss career paths to the sciences and related fields at 10:30 a.m., Fri., Nov. 15.

Stardust in the schools

In addition to the seventh graders work with the periodic table, eighth graders at the South Science and Technology Magnet are currently filming “The Fowler Kids: Search for a Hero,” a mockumentary that follows the students’ real-life quest to get something in his hometown named after Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist, Lima native and Ohio State alumni William A. Fowler. The trailer for the mockumentary will premiere prior to the keynote speaker session, which begins at 11:15 a.m. on Nov. 18 in the Martha W. Farmer Theatre for the Performing Arts in Reed Hall.

More about Stardust: The William Fowler Science Series

Lima is the hometown of one of the world’s most famous astrophysicists. William A. Fowler won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983 for his efforts to show how all the natural elements in the Periodic Table are forged under extreme conditions across the course of a star’s lifetime.

Stardust: The William Fowler Science Series honors Fowler’s achievements and is a collaboration between the City of Lima, the Lima City Schools and The Ohio State University at Lima. The focus of the fifth annual series is the periodic table of elements, an essential component of Fowler’s research. Previous topics include astrophysics, cancer research, symbiotic relationships and animation.

“It is a wonderful fact that Dr. Fowler grew up in Lima, was educated in the Lima City Schools and at the Ohio State University,” said Lima Mayor David Berger. “And working together — Ohio State, the Lima City Schools and the city — we have decided to showcase that fact in order to emphasize the incredible, literally mind-blowing, opportunities created by education.”

Fowler grew up in Lima and attended Horace Mann Grade School and Lima Central High School. He went on to graduate from The Ohio State University before moving to the California Institute of Technology to continue his groundbreaking work in the new field of astrophysics. His theory of the formation of the chemical elements in the universe forms the basis of our knowledge in this field, according to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in the original announcement of Fowler’s Nobel Prize.

More about Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer A. Johnson, professor of astronomy, has been a member of the Ohio State faculty since 2005, Dr. Johnson is an observational astronomer who studies stellar abundances, the origin of the elements, nucleocosmochronology, and the formation of the galaxy and the Local Group. She is currently working on the abundances in the most metal-poor stars, abundance ratios in galactic globular clusters, and the metallicity and enrichment history of the galactic bulge. Johnson is the science team chair of the SDSS–III APOGEE survey, a massive near-IR spectroscopic survey of the galaxy, and heavily involved in analyses of the SDSS SEGUE surveys, which have mapped the galaxy with optical spectroscopy.

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