SAVE THE DATE:
Splash Spring 2019 is May 4-5, 2019!

Sign in or create an account above for account-specific details and links

For Splash Students

For Splash Teachers and Volunteers

  • Click the "Get Involved" tab for more information.

ESP Biography



ELIZABETH MORIN, Stanford PhD Candidate In Chemistry




Major: Chemistry

College/Employer: Stanford

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Elizabeth Morin

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I have been teaching at SPLASH for 4 years, and I really enjoy interacting with all of you. I do this to show the exciting parts of science, and because occassionally I'll get a basic question from you that makes me think about something I've long accepted without proof. For instance, someone here asked me a history of science question, and I didn't know the answer. That was great! Now we both know :)

About me:
I always knew I wanted to go to college; I attended Penn State, and had an amazing time. It has a very social atmosphere, and there are all types of people there, hard studying and lots of socializing. I majored in chemistry.

I started research summer of freshman year with one of the professors from freshman chemistry, Dr. Paul Weiss. The research involved a bit of computer modeling and a lot of experiments in nanotechnology. I helped to improve processes for stamping molecules on gold to make chemical patterns (eventual goal= molecular electronics). I recommend anyone who might want to go into science- and especially grad school- to try to do research as soon as possible. I went to grad school because I love designing, planning and executing experiments and want to become a better experimentalist.

As a fourth year graduate student at Stanford, I am working in the geology department, studying the structure of glasses. Whereas once you know the basic building block of a crystal, you know the structure because it has a pattern, that's not the case for glasses. I think that makes glasses really interesting to study, as well as challenging.

I also really like designing, planning and doing activities you high school and middle school students. It's so much fun and I often team up and teach outside my speciality so that I can learn something new.



Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

C5773: Engineering with Mentos and Soda in Small, Competing Groups! in Splash Spring 2017 (Apr. 22 - 23, 2017)
Can you design the most spectacular Mentos and soda reaction? You'll start with Seltzer water, Mentos, and coke ingredients. What you do to make it better is up to you! Let the best team win! Winners in categories of Best Team Name, Most Spectacular Reaction, Best Teamwork Wear sunscreen/ hat; we will be outside.


C5821: High Tech Glass Research in Splash Spring 2017 (Apr. 22 - 23, 2017)
Glass has applications beyond windows: i.e. laser glasses for driverless cars or tattoo removal, optical fibers for telecommunication, and glass for displays. Let's talk about display glass. The key distinction between "chemically strengthened" display glass (i.e. iphone screens) and window glass is differences in range of cation sizes. We'll talk a bit about the "ion exchange" chemistry making this glass scratch resistant. The majority of the time will be spent talking about a fundamental science research project looking at the effect of cation size on glass structure. One of my goals is to talk about how high school class labs and university research labs differ. Do you have any questions about what science research is like? I'll do my best to walk you through how this research project started, who did what, and its outcomes. :) About me: I'm a Stanford graduate student with an college degree from Penn State. I just finished most of the degree requirements for the PhD degree and will be graduating in the Spring.


W5444: Origami - The Art of Paper Folding in Splash Fall 2016 (Dec. 03 - 04, 2016)
Origami (折り紙?, from ori meaning "folding", and kami meaning "paper") is the art of paper folding, which is often associated with Japanese culture. In modern usage, the word "origami" is used as an inclusive term for all folding practices, regardless of their culture of origin. The goal is to transform a flat sheet square of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques. Modern origami practitioners generally discourage the use of cuts, glue, or markings on the paper.


V4609: Dance Tango! in Splash Fall 2015 (Nov. 07 - 08, 2015)
Learn to walk to the timing dictated genius musicians, now long since deceased. Let the spirit of the music possess you and walk in unity with a partner, one walking forward, one walking back. Learn how to stop walking and change directions while remaining in sync with your partner and the music. Basically, learn to dance with a partner and have fun doing it!


P4611: Discover the Science Behind Mentos and Soda in Competing Groups! in Splash Fall 2015 (Nov. 07 - 08, 2015)
Can we unlock the mystery behind Mentos and Soda? Why does it expload? Several Stanford student "professors" each have a different idea about the cause of the newly discovered Mentos reaction. Each professor will recruit a small group of you to join the professor in investigating a hypothesis. You will do experiments to test the hypothesis, then present your findings to the other groups. What will we discover? Wear sunscreen/ hat; we will be outside.


V4151: Dance Argentine Tango, the walking dance! in Splash Spring 2015 (Apr. 11 - 12, 2015)
"So, I can walk, but I have two left feet. Can I dance?" Actually, in tango, everyone has two left feet- if you count your partner's foot, too :P If you can walk, you can totally tango. We are going to learn how to walk harmoniously and in unity with a partner, both of us following the sound of the music. We are going to learn how to avoid obstacles (in the form of walls and those pesky other folks who want to dance, too). We are going to learn how to incorporate that all important, dramatic pause (in tango there is the freedom to NOT move on every beat) and how to turn. You can watch us dance a song and see lots of other stuff, too. Then, you can incorporate all that and just HAVE FUN practicing for a while.


P4362: Make Mentos Explode in Splash Spring 2015 (Apr. 11 - 12, 2015)
Mentos and soda- ever wondered why they erupt? In this class, we will do our own reactions to learn why. We will explore properties and soda and mentos, including surface tension and acidity. You will do all your experiments in groups, so come ready to be a team player and to learn a bit about the science of explosions.


P4389: Why do some volcanoes expload while others ooze? in Splash Spring 2015 (Apr. 11 - 12, 2015)
Wonder why some volcanoes spew ash (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/02/images/090202-tokyo-volcano-ash-pictures-ap_big.jpg ) whereas others ooze lava (http://www.montserratvolcano.org/Kelud%202007,%20(Tom%20Pfeiffer%20-%20www.volcanodiscovery.com).jpg , http://www.montserratvolcano.org/Colima%20lava%20dome.jpg )? Through small group activities and discussion, we will learn why volcanoes erupt. How does liquid from the mantle reach the surface? How does the liquid from the mantle change as it goes to the suface? At the end, you'll deduce the story of two magmas from a volcano that scientists just recently studied.


P3742: Why do some volcanoes expload while others ooze? in Splash Fall 2014 (Nov. 08 - 09, 2014)
Wonder why some volcanoes spew ash (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/02/images/090202-tokyo-volcano-ash-pictures-ap_big.jpg ) whereas others ooze lava (http://www.montserratvolcano.org/Kelud%202007,%20(Tom%20Pfeiffer%20-%20www.volcanodiscovery.com).jpg , http://www.montserratvolcano.org/Colima%20lava%20dome.jpg )? Through small group activities and discussion, we will learn why volcanoes erupt. How does liquid from the mantle reach the surface? How does the liquid from the mantle change as it goes to the suface?


S3761: Food Issues through the lens of Sociology in Splash Fall 2014 (Nov. 08 - 09, 2014)
Food issues are more of a problem nowadays? Why is that more people are aware of the problems of our broken food system such that the phrase "hacking the food system" arose? What about the organic and sustainability movement? Is that making a difference? Let's talk about food issues in a sociological context. How do we define food issues? Relationships between the "system" and the "consumer".


B3781: The world of wonder - the immune system in Splash Fall 2014 (Nov. 08 - 09, 2014)
The human immune system is a complex system. It is full of mysteries that we as scientists like to solve. Do you want to know what happens when you get sick? This course can help you learn and point out when you are getting sick and the timeline of when you will get better!!!


B3860: New Neuron in Old Brain in Splash Fall 2014 (Nov. 08 - 09, 2014)
Do you know new neuron born in adult brain ? Perhaps you may have heard/learn that no new neuron born after birth, this is no longer true. Now its well established that adult and even old brain does produce neuron. Can we increase neuron generation to replace lost neuron in stroke and neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer?. This class will take you from history to introduction to current status.


B3863: Funky Fungi of the Amazon in Splash Fall 2014 (Nov. 08 - 09, 2014)
Many of us think of fungi as mushrooms we sometimes eat. By the end of this course, you'll realize that these complex organisms represent tons of unexplored biology and chemistry that can even help fight diseases, like cancer. This course will be an introduction to basic fungal biology and natural products chemistry and its applications. *Bonus* there will be lots of pretty pictures of newly discovered fungi.


L3914: Thinking with your feet in Splash Fall 2014 (Nov. 08 - 09, 2014)
Thinking with your feet. How is that possible? Come have fun solving challenges with your new skills.


L3998: Interpersonal Communication in A Business Setting in Splash Fall 2014 (Nov. 08 - 09, 2014)
Almost without exception, today’s business professionals attribute their success largely to their ability to write well, to speak dynamically, and to cultivate business relationships. In this class you will learn basic theories on communicating strategically in a business setting. We will start with an exploration of social styles and how to develop communication strategies to fit those styles, and end with a discussion on establishing credibility and influence through communication.


P4001: How Organic Chemists Isolate and Identify Compounds: A Crash Course in Splash Fall 2014 (Nov. 08 - 09, 2014)
What do organic chemists really do? How is data collected in the lab? Organic chemists actually spend less time running reactions than you might think. Many lab techniques are not directly involved in running a reaction; their purpose is to isolate, purify, and identify the products of those reactions. This is a crash course into those techniques, covering the basics of extraction, chromatography, and spectroscopy amongst others.


L4047: Humble Lessons on Being True To Yourself in Splash Fall 2014 (Nov. 08 - 09, 2014)
Being different is a blessing. Here's another lesson: as long as you are yourself you'll be happy. My attempt with this class will be to help you understand the importance and value of your personal self. Most importantly, I'll help you to learn how to create your own path and to listen to your inner voice. It'll be a fun and inspirational experience. -Self changes, and you follow-


P3395: Coral Reefs: Exploring Real Experimental Problems in Marine Science in Splash! Spring 2014 (Apr. 12 - 13, 2014)
Are you interested in the ocean, the environment or science in general? Staci is studying the oldest corals in the world and has a problem. She needs to develop a way to accurately measure the surface area of coral to determine how fast the colony grows. In teams, you will measure objects surface areas using conventional techniques and figure out for yourself why measuring coral is challenging. Finally, you will learn why this is an important technique and ways marine researchers currently determine surface area. This is a repeat of a Fall 2013 Splash class and we are hoping to see new faces.


P3490: Fun with Acids and Bases in Splash! Spring 2014 (Apr. 12 - 13, 2014)
Let’s be crazy chemists and mix bases and acids! Hehe. Oh, what I meant to say was: Learn more about reactions by mixing acids and bases. Learn which common household items are bases, which are acids, which are neutral and which combinations give the best volcano for that science fair? Test it out! Also, be prepared to channel your inner sourpuss and react with your basic classmates. Will the entire group wind up sour, basic or neutral? Only time will tell!


P3140: Identifying Rocks in Splash! Fall 2013 (Nov. 02 - 03, 2013)
Ever wonder what cooled lava looks like or how rocks from deep in the earth look like? Do you want to see the different rock types that come out of a volcano? In this class we will explore the different rock types, where they are found, and how to identify them in different places you see everyday. Hands on activities will show you how geologists look at rocks to interpret them to gain important information about our earth! Understanding what rocks are composed of and how they behaved in the past gives us insights to how they might behave in the future. Codevelopers: Elizabeth Morin, Meredith Townsend, Natalie Sievers


P3141: Identifying Minerals in Splash! Fall 2013 (Nov. 02 - 03, 2013)
Have you seen fluorescent minerals before? What about a mineral reacting with acid? This hands-on class will show you those things and more! Learn how geologists identify minerals out in the field to understand a rocks history. Group challenges will teach you the different techniques used to tell minerals apart and why they are important when looking at different rocks. Fool's gold, also known as iron sulfide (pyrite), has led to many a "gold" rush. Learn about mineral properties and don't get fooled.


P3170: Coral Reefs: Exploring Real Experimental Problems in Marine Science in Splash! Fall 2013 (Nov. 02 - 03, 2013)
Are you interested in the ocean, the environment or science in general? Staci is studying the oldest corals in the world and has a problem. She needs to develop a way to accurately measure the surface area of coral to determine how fast the colony grows. In teams, you will measure objects surface areas using conventional techniques and figure out for yourself why measuring coral is challenging. Finally, you will learn why this is an important technique and ways marine researchers currently determine surface area, including a demo.


P3277: Lightbulbs & Luminol: What Lights Them Up? in Splash! Fall 2013 (Nov. 02 - 03, 2013)
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a fluorescent and incandescent light bulb? Want to learn about how luminol (used in CSI to find blood), glow sticks and a firefly’s glow work? If you have taken one year of chemistry and you’d like to know, this is the class for you. We will explain incadenscence (incadenscent light bulb), fluorescence (fluorescent light bulb) and chemiluminescence (firefly, glowstick, luminol) and do a hands on activity with glow sticks.


P2691: Careers in Color & Other Attributes of Gems in Splash! Spring 2013 (Apr. 13 - 14, 2013)
Ever wanted to learn how gemologists distinguish diamond from cubic zirconium? We'll cover that and much more! First, we introduce you to methods gemologists use to identify gems. Then, we let you use these methods. Finally, you solve three paper-based scenarios, including distinguishing synthetic from natural emerald, where your group is given a limited budget and a list of tests that can be preformed and you all decide which ones to do and how to interpret the results. Designed with Jingshi Wu.


P2707: Color in Living Systems and Minerals/Gems in Splash! Spring 2013 (Apr. 13 - 14, 2013)
Have you ever wondered why you see colors in the world around you? Why ruby is red and grass is green? We'll discuss color chemistry, what in these systems it is that you are seeing. Note: this class is class meant for those who didn't take our class "color in living systems and minerals" in the fall. Designed with Gabriela Farfan.


P2987: Identifying Minerals and Gems in Splash! Spring 2013 (Apr. 13 - 14, 2013)
Have you ever wondered why and how geologists and gemologists identify minerals and gems? In this class, we will discuss why geologists are interested in identifying minerals. Then, you will develop a gemological and geological toolkit, including hardness testing, and identify minerals and gems using this toolkit!


P2406: Color in Living Systems and Minerals/Gems in Splash! Fall 2012 (Nov. 03 - 04, 2012)
Ever wondered about the colors in your life... why the grass is green while a ruby is red? Let's learn about the main sources of color in both living systems and minerals/gems, since the fundamental interaction of light and matter to produce color is not very different in either system. Finally, you will identity the source of color in a plant and in a mineral based on its structure. A background in high school chemistry is necessary for this class.


P2092: The Origin of Color in Rocks, MInerals, and Glasses in Splash! Spring 2012 (Apr. 21 - 22, 2012)
Have you ever wondered about the origin of the brilliant red of a ruby or the kaleidoscope colors of a church’s stain glass windows? Join us and learn how atomic bonding and structural arrangement affect the colors we see in many materials, from everyday objects to exotic gemstones. This course will also cover atomic structure in minerals and glasses as a background to the subject. Students will participate in an interactive experiment demonstrating what it takes for a material to become either a crystal or a glass.


P1369: Nanotoxicology: Health & Nanotechnology in Splash! Spring 2011 (Apr. 16 - 17, 2011)
Nanotechnology... what is it and how safe is it? How do nanoscale materials differ from macroscale materials? Let's discuss the results of safety testing for specific classes of nanomaterials and think about how small changes in structure cause big changes in safety, using predominately the research of Dr. Colvin from Rice University. Time permitting, we can have an open discussion about whether existing safety standards go far enough in protecting the public.