iCubed

Fall 2011 STEAM Sculptures

One of the objectives of ICubed is to inform the UCF Community about scientific concepts. The project is meeting this objective by funding the STEAM Gallery Initiative which is an activity that encourages STEM researchers to expand their thinking and find ways to communicate their science to non-STEM audiences. In Fall 2011, the ICubed team relied on previous experiences to create artwork for the gallery.

Through STEAM, UCF STEM faculty researchers who received grant supplements for their students, interacted with faculty and students in the School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD). Participating Art and Design students attended a 3-week long seminar, as part of their course of study, and created science-inspired art based on the STEM researcher's explanations of science concepts and possibilities. In this ICubed Initiative, Visual Arts students were able to find new creative ways to communicate the science through their art. ICubed invited two STEM researchers, one from the Environmental Engineering Department (Debbie Reinhart) and the other from the Biology Department (Lauren von Kalm) to present their work in David Isenhour's Sculpture class.

Debbie Reinhart, her Ph.D. student Stephanie Bolyard, and the ICubed Fellow Kunal Nayee talked about nanoparticles and their impact on the environment. In particular they emphasized the different pathways to appropriately dispose nanoparticles through wastewater treatments or landfill treatments, and how these processes can be made to be more effective. Lauren Von Kalm and the ICubed Fellow Victoria Kreinbrick, talked about cancer therapies, networks of genes and cells, and the testing of drugs that can starve cancer cells and inhibit their growth. Both presentations lasted approximately 30 minutes and were followed by 10 minutes long discussions.

NSF

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No.0963146. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

UCF

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Horus Andersen

This is my representation of the leachate. A byproduct from the creation of many of the luxuries we enjoy, the leachate is harmful and causes numerous environmental problems. Hazardous chemicals seep into groundwater or evaporate, only to fall to the earth and perpetuate the cycle. Nano particles and leachates go hand-in-hand. Where there is one, there will also be the other.

Given the rapid advancements of nanotechnology and the introduction of nanoscale materials into consumer goods, it is anticipated that nanotechnology will have profound effects on industry and technology, human health, social and economic development, and the environment. Given the growing demand for nanomaterials (NMs), it is likely that products containing these materials will be placed in landfills at the end of their useful life. Given the potential for NMs to solve many of the problems facing us today, including health issues, energy demands, and pressures on natural resources, research into the safe manufacturing, use and disposal of NMs is important.

This piece was inspired by the STEM research presented in David Isenhour’s Fall 2011 Sculpture class. This STEM research was presented by Stephanie Bolyard, an Environmental Engineering student, mentored by Professor Debbie Reinhart. The presentation was titled NanoMaterials and the Environment.

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Christie Gonzalez

Everybody wants to believe they are safe in their own home. Surrounded by the picket fence they worked so hard for, they are sheltered from the dangers of the outside world.

Cancer Hits Home was inspired by the presentation on Cancer Research. It is a representation of the feelings of violation and insecurity that I experienced when cancer reached my household. My grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away within the year. I created this from a place of anger, but did not yet realize that I would have to face this trial again. This year, my father was diagnosed and cancer has hit my home once again.

The von Kalm laboratory studies how cells take up essential growth factors called polyamines that are needed for survival. All cells can make their own polyamines, however cancer cells have a much greater requirement for polyamines than normal cells to sustain their rapid growth. If cancer cells are treated with a drug that blocks their ability to make polyamines, they compensate by scavenging and transporting polyamines from outside the cell into the cell. By understanding how polyamines are brought into the cell, drugs (transport inhibitors) that block this process can be designed and used in combination therapy with drugs that block the ability of the cell to make polyamines, thus starving the cancer cells of essential factors needed for survival.

This piece was inspired by the STEM research presented in David Isenhour’s Fall 2011 Sculpture class. This STEM research was presented by Professor Laurence von Kalm and his student Victoria Kreinbrick, both from the Department of Biology. The presentation was titled Networks and Potentail Cancer Therapies, and its gist is summarized below.

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