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.

Wayne Mitchell
Missouri State University

At the start of our lives, watching the world around us is usually the beginning of a lifetime of learning.

Wayne Mitchell, an associate professor of psychology at Missouri State University, has spent the better part of his career watching infants look at things. He does this to better understand the ways they gather information and learn.

As he explains, a better understanding of visual learning can be used to design intervention strategies that might benefit infants during the critical early months of life.


Todd Stewart, Mercy Health Systems Manager of Informatics, states early on that the goal of informatics is using technology to connect the clinicians to the patients in multiple ways. As he and Keela Davis who is the director of Mercy Medical Research Institute explain, the future trend is to leverage the size and breadth of Mercy’s patient population with information processing in order to direct medical treatment.

NIH/Carolyn Larabell / University of California, San Francisco, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Imagine taking over the inner mechanism of a cell and using it as a factory. That is just what Dr. Paul Schweiger, who is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Missouri State University, does in his lab. He comes by to talk about advances made in recent years in this field.

From insulin production to the treatment for malaria, using bacteria and yeast can provide greater control and more consistent supply for a wide variety of chemicals.

John Thomas School of Discovery
Julie Greene / KSMU

The John Thomas School of Discovery was started in Nixa three years ago to serve as a STEAM-focused (STEM with the addition of the Arts) environment.

Dr. Josh Chastain was the first principal of the school and served in that role for three years. He comes to us to discuss the importance of the integration of STEAM into the elementary schools and also the initiative to focus the curriculum on inquiry-based learning.

In his remarks he makes it clear that “The ultimate goal for our kids is to be exceptional learners.”

Missouri Department of Natural Resources

“One of the fundamental and interesting questions is, ‘What’s in the water that flows around us’?” So says Bob Pavlowsky, a geographer and water specialist at Missouri State University.

When we put things into our drains, we typically forget about it. But, for Dr. Pavlowsky and his collaborator, MSU microbiologist Paul Durham, it’s what happens to the water after it gets downstream that really matters.