Hilldale’s Sigma Zeta math and science honorary, Tri Beta biology honorary, and the American Chemical Society came together for an event at Rough Draft on March 30 to answer students’ most-asked questions.
In the week leading up to the event, the clubs asked students to submit questions on what they have always wanted to know, promising to deliver answers at Rough Draft. Student members of the clubs created presentation boards based on the questions they received and set up in the back of Rough Draft. Some of the questions addressed controversial topics such as vaccines and gene editing, while others were basic or random questions such as, ‘Why is the sky blue?’ and ‘How much force would have to be put into slapping a 160-pound freshman for him to go into orbit?’
Senior and Sigma Zeta member Elise Farley presented general information about vaccines along with senior and ACS member Christine Ausherman and senior and Tri Beta member Genevieve Chiara. The presentation included common side effects of vaccines, such as headaches, and rare effects of vaccines, such as anaphylactic reactions. Farley said the goal of the event was to answer questions as well as “bring the science honoraries together to promote scientific literacy and interdisciplinary communication.”
“Every year, there are all kinds of questions and conflicts,” Farley said in an email. “As students in the sciences, we wanted to provide a low pressure, accessible way for our peers to find out more about their questions and make truly informed opinions and decisions.”
Farley said having Rough Draft as their location was ideal because it allowed them to present their research in a “fun, lighthearted way.”
“Rough Draft was an ideal location because it is a small business started and operated by Hillsdale alumni and students,” Farley said. “It also offers a cozy and lighthearted space and a variety of food and beverages that suit a wide range of people.”
Senior Rebecca Holscher presented general questions on chemistry with freshman Lauren Benson such as how acid works and the best element on the Periodic Table (“which was Bismuth,” Holscher said).
“The whole thing overall was a way to answer questions people had about science that sometimes are hard to research if you don’t know scientific jargon,” she said, “so it was a middle step for people.”
Junior Nate Gipe helped present questions on human anatomy with seniors Elizabeth Palmer, Dan Thiery, and Mason Clutter. He said the main goal of their presentation was to get students interested in the subject.
“I think the goal of our presentation was to pique interest in the science of the human body, and science in general,” Gipe said in an email. “We especially wanted to reach non-science majors who maybe haven’t taken a lot of science classes at Hillsdale.”
Gipe said he thought students interacted with and learned a lot from the presenters.
“I think we all loved the experience; you get to learn some really fascinating stuff in a really fascinating environment,” he said. “So we were all interested in sharing some of that with the rest of campus.”