Busting myths, dissecting toys

The hosts of the popular TV series “Mythbusters” may be best known for creating mayhem by destroying stuff in the name of science, but now a UMR professor is helping high school students get in on the action.


Katie Grantham Lough, AE’01, MS AE’03 and PhD ME’05, assistant professor of interdisciplinary engineering at UMR, teamed up with Missouri high school students this summer to develop forensics experiments based on the Discovery Channel’s self-explanatory show. The students also conducted “reverse engineering,” as Grantham Lough calls it, which involves the dissection of toys to see how they are assembled. Product dissection teaches the students how to properly take something apart and, more importantly, put it back together. She hopes to create the nation’s first undergraduate degree program in forensics engineering.
Grantham Lough is leading just one of the projects offered through UMR’s Summer Research Academy, which is associated with the Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing program. This academy is offered for high school juniors and seniors to bypass their last two years of high school and go straight to taking college-level courses for general education requirements.

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