On a fall Saturday at the Orange Public Library, about 25 middle and high school youth learned some of the secrets of the monarch butterfly migration from Chapman University’s Jeremy Hsu, Ph.D., an assistant instructional professor of biological science.

“It was wonderful. The kids learned scientific critical thinking skills in a very unique way,” said Linda Cundiff, executive director of the Orange Public Library Foundation and the organizer of the science, technology, engineering, art and math program known as STEAM for Teens and Tweens, which includes multiple Chapman professors for the second year in a row.

Chapman’s Jerry LaRue, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, will lead an exploration of physical chemistry titled “The Curious Behavior of Light” on Dec. 15, and Melissa Rowland-Goldsmith, Ph.D., associate instructional professor of biological sciences, will present an introduction to biochemistry with “DNA: It is in You!” on Jan. 19.

“I think it’s really been a great partnership where our faculty, and in some cases our students, are going over there to show them that STEM, the sciences, are accessible to everyone and to get them to think a little more deeply about how things work in nature,” said Elaine Schwartz, Ph.D., an associate professor of chemistry who last year led a session that included liquid nitrogen ice cream.

“They’re very engaged and they love these activities,” she said.

Students study the monarch butterfly during a session led by Chapman Professor Jeremy Hsu, Ph.D. (Photo/Orange Public Library Foundation)