Student Projects

I have been fortunate to work with many very talented students both in my classrooms and in one-on-one academic mentoring. With their permission, some of their research is shared below.


Student Podcasts from Space, Time, and Matter, Spring 2014

My Spring 2014 Space, Time, and Matter students were asked to create podcasts about the history of science in order to rethink the ways in which history is a storytelling discipline. Inspired by science and storytelling radio shows such as RadioLab, This American Life, the Moth, and The Story Collider, students developed, produced, recorded, and edited audio podcasts about stories they selected from the history of science. The stories can get personal, and they reveal students learning about the significance of the history of science in their own lives. A few select podcasts are shared here.

All podcasts on this website are the property of the authors, who have given me permission to share their work here. Please do not reproduce, rebroadcast, or otherwise appropriate this work without the explicit permission of the authors. 

Women and Alchemical Thought, Alexandra Krongel, Spring 2014

As an independent study project, Alexandra developed an extended research project on women's experiences with alchemy, arguing (1) that alchemical thought, unlike its contemporary mechanistic thought, created a more women-friendly environment through differences in language and methods of knowledge transmission, but (2) that extra-scientific factors nonetheless limited women's access to alchemical resources. Alexandra produced a paper, has evolved into a multi-year research project funded by the Brackenridge Research Fellowships at Pitt Honors College. She also collected her historical resources into an annotated bibliography, which can be accessed here.

Contact Alexandra.

Big Science, Little Science, and the Public, Simone Traub, Fall 2014 – Spring 2015

As a senior at Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, Simone is responsible for developing a capstone project that showcases her engagement with STEM fields. Simone is interested in the relationship between science and society and has made a hobby of developing expertise in the Manhattan Project and the space program. In her thesis, she juxtaposes the public perception of these "big science" projects with public perception of nanoscience, which is both smaller in scale in terms of subject matter and in terms of the amount of collaboration and physical equipment needed to perform experiments. Simone argues that while differences in political climate influenced differences in public awareness between nanoscience and the Manhattan Project, the sheer scale differences between the sciences also played a significant role. As part of her thesis, Simone is developing a Wiki page of important articles in the history of nanoscience, which can be found here.

Contact Simone.