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By Alex Schmitt
Oct 06, 2017

The science club entails the organization of recycling on campus, involvement in developments such as the aquaponics and the bee project.

"The science club is a group of students, and faculty as well, who are interested in science and are interested in solving modern problems that are based in science," Dr. Nick Troendle, Assistant Professor of Biology, said.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Jordan Mantha said, "It promotes science around campus and the community so that when projects do come up it provides an avenue for students to make a difference and apply science outside of a classroom.”

These bees are collecting nectar from sunflowers on campus. MNU’s bees fly out about 15 feet high and spread out as far as five miles in order to retrieve nectar for the two hives located on campus. Photo by Dana Palmer.These bees are collecting nectar from sunflowers on campus. MNU’s bees fly out about 15 feet high and spread out as far as five miles in order to retrieve nectar for the two hives located on campus. Photo by Dana Palmer.

With goals of being student driven and doing community outreach activities, Mantha said, "The science club looks at the projects that aren't necessarily tied to a class."

"Projects such as the aquaponics utilizes sustainability,” Troendle said. “It's raising fish and food crops together so that you get better yields on the crops in a system that requires no soil."

There is currently one facility set up in the aquaponics lab, with another one on the way. There are multiple crops and various garden foods, as well as hundreds of fish, located within the aquaponics system.

The honey bees are another project on campus led by Dr. Rion Taylor, Associate Professor of Biology. The bees arrived on campus in late May and have been producing honey all summer.

There are approximately 60,000 bees per hive, and there are two hives on campus. According to Taylor, these honey bees were donated by alumni to the science club with the help of a Title III grant.

"They will only sting when they feel threatened. Most people probably haven't even noticed them,” Taylor said. “When they sting, they typically die; they aren't aggressive at all."

"By studying the bees, the students gain a better understanding of animal behavior, pest management and parasite loads. We learn things about statistics and collective democracy and group decision making, as well as economics," Taylor said.

Since late May these honey bees have made around 125 pounds of honey. The honey is being sold in the Merc on campus with proceeds directly benefitting the science club.

There will be many other research projects involving the honey bees, recycling and aquaponics as well as many other opportunities coming soon. There will also be smaller studies such as how faith and science interact, how to provoke interest in science in the community and marketing strategies for commodities such as the honey.

There will be an upcoming demo show during homecoming week for anyone interested in learning more.


Alex Schmitt

- More by this author

Alex Schmitt is a History at MidAmerica Nazarene University, and he is also the news editor for The Trailblazer.

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