Dr. David Cornelison

Dr. David Cornelison has been working as an educator and scientist in Arizona and Missouri universities for the last 25 years.  Since 2010, he has been the head of the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science at Missouri State University.  His research interests lie at the intersection of experimental condensed-matter physics and astrophysics, while his educational efforts have focused on outreach to the K-12 school system.   Most of all, he believes in curiosity-driven learning in the sciences and all other fields.

Sam Kean

Author Sam Kean started out in physics, but found that he was also drawn to the telling of stories.  He branched out to an English degree and then began the process of becoming a writer.

A number of years later he has become a noted author, writing primarily about science.  Sam comes on the show to talk about his book, The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements.

From its earliest days, cinema has depended on science.  Not only has the technical side of the industry used STEM-based knowledge to advance the field but, in many cases, the creative forces behind the films have used themes from science to drive the arc of their stories.

Mike Stevens, who is the Executive Director of Springfield’s own Moxie Cinema believes that the marriage of these two disparate areas should be explored and thus began the Moxie’s film series, “Science on Screen”.  He stops by Stem Spots to discuss the series and the aims and general goals of the Moxie.

CDC/ Cynthia Goldsmith

It is clear that the threat of a viral outbreak causes concern for residents of affected areas.  So it goes with the Zika virus, a seemingly new threat to populations in the southern hemisphere.

Kendra Findley from the Springfield/Greene County Health Department stops by Stem Spots to help us better understand this virus and its ramifications.  She discusses the relatively long history of the virus, its modes of infection and how best to ensure that its impact is minimized in our neck of the woods.


Dr. Neal Lopinot has been digging away at the earth for most of his life now.  As Director for MSU’s Center for Archaeological Research, he has made his passion into his career and aided in the preservation of knowledge about our regions ancient past.

Listen in as he comes to the Stem Spots studio and talks about the process of his work; from the proposal stage directed by external needs, to the actual work of excavation and the cataloguing of the results. 

He also discusses specific projects, both in and out of our own Midwest region.


Brian Grindstaff has to know something about nearly everything. As the experimental machinist at Missouri State University’s College of Natural and Applied Sciences, he works with engineers, biologists, chemists, physicists...just about anyone.  And each person only brings a job to Brian when the solution to the problem is either unknown or too expensive to implement using standard means.