One of our long range goals is to use past and future student research to modify the existing curriculum and protocols until eventually we have generated an inexpensive, reliable "litmus" test for the health of a given environment through the study of its soil microbes.  The microbial soil populations are the foundation of the terrestrial domain, and as goes their fate, so goes our.  Hence, our dream is someday to have a method so cheap and so reliable that anyone anywhere in the world could do it and know the general health of the ecosystem they are in immediately.  We get a little closer each year, but as evidenced by our generous funding, real research can take a long time.  Therefore, we invite any and all who are interested to join us in our research.  To learn more about this project or about teaching microbial science in introductory biology courses, please contact us at brockda@rpcs.org.  You can also learn more about us in the new National Science Teachers Association monograph series, Exemplary Science in Grades 912: Standards-Based Success Stories; we're chapter 1!  Or simply stop by our campus and see us during May when the project is in full swing; we're in room 204 and visitors are always welcome!

        Not everything about the project is hard work.  While the project's most significant aspiration is to alter how students envision the intricacies of the  natural world and humanity's place in its environmental relationships and to cultivate in them a sense of ecological stewardship, "Little Things" also hopes to generate a deeper passion for science in general.  Hence, each year, we prepare a slide-show of our adventures to celebrate a job well-done.  These tongue-in-cheek "reports" remind us all that science has its passionate side, and we invite our web visitors to join us in remembering that it really is "the little things that run the world."

Program Slide Shows


2002 [9.6 MB]

2011 [42.5 MB]

2003 [2.8 MB]

2012 [25.8 MB]

2004 [3.6 MB]

2013 [44.4 MB]

 2005 [2.2 MB]

2014 [39.1 MB]

2007 [6.7 MB]

2015 [35.9 MB]
2008 [6.5 MB] 2016 [37.6 MB]
2009 [30.5 MB] 2017 [33.2 MB]
2010 [45.8 MB]