Campus: CSU Northridge -- July 8, 2002
Junior High and High School Students Get Their Research
More than 380 junior high and high school students from the San Fernando
Valley and Los Angeles area recently got an opportunity to get their
research published with the help of Cal State Northridge's biology professor
Oppenheimer each year publishes the Journal of Student Research Abstract.
This year the journal contains 37 research abstracts in areas of Astronomy,
Comparison, Environmental Biology, Vibrate Biology and Physics.
"The journal, is, we believe, the only national journal that showcases
many student research projects in abstract form," Oppenheimer said.
"Many of the teachers whose students publish in the journal have
been trained in my National Science Foundation and Eisenhower research
experiences programs. National security depends upon producing top research
scientists. These programs and the journal begin the process of producing
research scientists at a very young age."
Gregory Zem, co-author of the journal and a science teacher at Ernest
Lawrence Middle School in Chatsworth, recently won the Distinguished
Research Award sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Eisenhower
Professional Development programs. He was recognized for implementing
high quality science research in his classes. Which translated to the
quality research his students presented at the Student Research Symposium
held at CSUN last month.
Among the projects in the journal is work by Sandra Madrid, Mayra Lugo,
Chantan Pom and Nandita Pal (teacher) at Robert Fulton Middle School
at Van Nuys. They did an experiment to find out whether cats' eyes glow
in the dark.
They made a model of a cat's eye by using a coffee can and covered the
top end with a piece of circular construction paper. At the center of
the paper circle, they cut an oval opening representing the pupil of
a cat's eye.
They took the model into a dark room and repeatedly to slit the paper
to represent varying pupil sizes, while shining a flashlight into the
The research group concluded that the cat's eyes do not glow in the
dark. The glow from the animal's eyes is due to the reflection of external
"The back of each cat's eyes has mirror like cells that can reflect
the light. These cells are filled with a chemical called guanine that
reflects even the smallest amount of light and plus floods the eyeball
with light, causing it to appear to glow," their report in the
K-12 science teachers can obtain a free copy of the journal by contacting
Steve Oppenheimer at (818) 677-3336 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All other individuals can purchase a copy by sending a check for $25
payable to CSUN Foundation, Cancer Center, and sending it to: Steve
Oppenheimer, Editor, Biology Dept., California State University, Northridge,
Northridge, CA 91330-8303.
Contacts: Yvette Gonzalez or Carmen Ramos Chandler
(818) 677-2130 email@example.com