Monday, September 11, 7 p.m.
9th and 10th Grade Commons
Eric’s 20-year career at Monsanto has focused on process technology, which can be defined as “the science of inventing, developing, operating, and improving processes for producing and manufacturing products.” He is a Senior Science Fellow and has multiple patents key to Monsanto’s businesses. He is currently Director for the Trait Delivery program in Monsanto’s biotechnology organization, where his team is responsible for the process technology for producing genetically-modified and gene-edited crops. Earlier in his career, he was responsible for developing process technology for products such as Roundup™ and other chemical and biological products important to Monsanto’s business. He also has process technology experience in other industrial sectors, including petrochemical production, polymer manufacturing, microelectronics material production and nuclear-fuel refining.
Eric has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Washington University.
He and his wife Sharon have been married for 24 years. They live in Chesterfield and have three children who are current or former Westminster students: Samuel (’19), Chloe (’19), and Isabel (’16).
Westminster welcomes John Greenplate, Senior Science Fellow at Monsanto, to the STEM seminar, Monday, November 14, at 7 p.m. in the Freshman and Sophomore Commons.
For 28 years, John has been a Research Entomologist for Monsanto where he has worked on the development, characterization, and stewardship of insect-resistant transgenic plants. He is a Monsanto Senior Science Fellow with numerous peer-reviewed publications and seven patents in the area of insect control in agriculture. For a significant portion of his career, he has been involved in improving developing nation agriculture through the introduction and stewardship of insect-protected biotech crops. He currently leads a large portion of Monsanto’s insect efficacy field testing program in the US and South America. John has served as a Medical Entomologist in the US Army in southern Afghanistan, coordinating surveillance and control of arthropod vectors of human disease. Many years ago he received an M.S. in Entomology from Cornell University (mosquito physiology), and a B.S. in Agriculture/Entomology from the University of Delaware. He’s been married for 42 years to Susan, and together they’ve raised three daughters, all Westminster grads and married with kids.
Dr. Zhang has a Ph.D. in Physics and is presently an actuarial scientist. He has published 12 scientific papers in internationally recognized scientific journals on cardiovascular physiology and nanotechnology. Dr. Zhang has worked with Habitat for Humanity building homes for low-income families, served as the chairperson of the Youth Astronomy Society of Peking University, and is an accomplished cellist and has composed a symphony!
Dr. Taylor completed both her PhD in biomedical engineering and her MD at Washington University in St. Louis in 2005. She is now a staff scientist at the WashU School of Medicine, where she studies pediatric brain tumors. In her studies of spinal cord injuries and brain tumors, she has performed neurosurgery on packs of mice and rats, designed nanoparticles and scaffolds for drug delivery to the brain, and grown cells from the tumors of dozens of Children’s Hospital patients to assist doctors in their research.
Dr. Thompson is currently manager of the ADME/Toxicology group in R&D at the Sigma-Aldrich Life Sciences and Technology Center in St. Louis. He attended Wheaton College as an undergraduate and majored in biology. He then continued his education at the University of Minnesota where he received a master’s degree in environmental health and later a PhD in biochemical toxicology from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Thompson has worked as a toxicologist in academic, government, industrial, and pharmaceutical settings. These include the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (North Carolina), Texas A&M University, and Searle/Pharmacia/Pfizer pharmaceutical companies (St. Louis) prior to joining Sigma-Aldrich in 2010. His current work focuses on the development of cell-based bioassays for toxicologists and drug metabolism scientists utilizing zinc finger nucleases as highly specific genome editing tools. He thinks toxicology is a great field to consider for students who are interested in science.
1. STEM Major: Track 1 (Math/Science)
2. STEM Major: Track 2 (Math/Science/Engineering)
3. STEM Major: Track 3 (Biology)
4. STEM Major: Track 4 (Engineering/Programming)
** ASE equivalent: with pre-approval by the Science Department, the following activities qualify as equivalent experience: STARS Program, STEM Internships, Independent STEM related Research, STEM related Summer Camps, Engineering and Science Competitions, FIRST Robotics.
|ASE||Applied Science Experience (Real-world science experience)|
|CAD/CAM||Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing (Semester-long class using Siemens NX)|
|CEA||Civil Engineering and Architecture (a PLTW class)|
|EDD||Engineering Design and Development (a PLTW capstone class) (This class is presently called ASR (Applied Scientific Research)|
|IED||Introduction to Engineering Design (a PLTW class)|
|PLTW||Project Lead the Way (A national program providing engineering curriculum to high schools)|
|POE||Principles of Engineering (a PLTW class)|
|STARS||Students and Teachers as Research Scientists (a summer research program organized by UMSL)|
|STEM||Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (describes a general curriculum involving these disciplines)|
Hear from speaker Dr. Susan Bayliss, a professor of Dermatology and Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine. She’s the daughter of an army physician and began pursuing education in the medical field at a time when less than 10% of medical students were women!
Science Department Chair Dr. Andrew Shaw shares his reflections on the relationship between faith and science during a seminar at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.
As a part of new innovations and enhancements in the Middle School, Westminster now offers a STEM course in the Middle School. The course, required for all middle school students, takes an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to science, technology, engineering, and math. All of these disciplines are applied during the planning processes of each of the course’s four project-based units, in which students are assigned to construct a rocket, a CO2 dragster, an under-water robot, and a cardboard chair (with no adhesives) sturdy enough to support an adult.Learn More
“From a global perspective, math and science are not among Americans’ greatest strengths; the U.S. is simply not producing the world’s mathematicians and scientists,” says Hall. “As a Christian school whose mission it is to produce young men and women equipped to change the world, it is our job to jump into the gap – to fill this void. We want to prove to middle school students that science and math are not scary,” he says. “We hope that it, in turn, encourages students to think about a more focused approach to STEM when they get to high school.”
Hall says that while there are other middle schools in the area that do offer a STEM course, most do not require it, and most are “pre-packaged” curricula. He says, “Westminster’s middle school STEM course has been specially designed by our teachers so that students are able to draw connections between STEM principles and what they are learning in their other classes.”