Hands-on art and science classes July 10 part of SUNY Potsdam's Reunion Weekend
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 9:27 am

POTSDAM -- SUNY Potsdam professors will offer a day of hands-on art and science classes to kick off the college's Reunion Weekend on July 10. The first-ever Potsdam Academy will offer the public a chance to return to the classroom for a day, with a full day of interesting courses led by faculty members.

Particpants can choose art or science classes, or mix and match. The day will culminate with a lecture combining the two disciplines.

Check-in and breakfast will be in Becky's Place from 8:30 to 9 a.m.

From 9 to 10:15 a.m., associate professor of physics Lawrence Brehm will discuss how X-rays reveal molecular structure, showing how the shape of DNA can be deduced from the analysis of diffraction patterns. Assistant professor of art Iggy Beerbower will lead a hands-on class about the "camera-less" photography of photograms, by placing objects onto light-sensitive paper, exposing it to light and developing the print.

From 10:30 to 11:45 a.m., John Proetta, an adjunct instructor for the Department of Chemistry, will lead a session on the history of "bakistry," exploring the science behind baking cookies, bread, cake and more. April Vasher-Dean, director of The Arts Museum at SUNY Potsdam, will offer a crash course on an introduction to performance studies. Participants will explore their own roles in everyday performance, complete with costumes, props and dialogue, including through in-class exercises.

There will be a break for lunch on campus, included with the cost of registration, from noon to 1 p.m.

From 1 to 2:15 p.m., Gordon Plague, an assistant professor of biology, will offer a lecture entitled "Bubonic Plague, Syphilis and Lyme Disease: How Bacteria Have Shaped Human History." Douglas Rubio, professor of classical guitar at The Crane School of Music, will reflect on the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Beatles to the United States, including footage of their historic appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Following the classes, all participants will be invited to attend a lecture, "Art is the Science of Expression: Quantum Theory," led by Linghong Li, an assistant professor of physics. She will show how quantum theory allows probabilities to be calculated, but how certainty can only be established when an observation is made. Li will explore the interplay of physical reality, life, human thought and artistic expression, through hands-on activities.

The event concludes with a "graduation" ceremony from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Early Bird Gathering, which officially opens during Reunion Weekend.

Registration for the Potsdam Academy is $50, which includes breakfast, a full day of classes and materials, and lunch on campus. You don't need to attend Reunion Weekend to join in the fun.

Info: 267-2120 or www.potsdam.edu/alumni/reunion/academy.