In the spring 2023 semester, the STEM Division challenged current students, faculty, and staff to demonstrate both their STEM knowledge and their artistic skills for the first-ever STEM Photo Contest. The campus community was encouraged to submit photos they took that showed a concept, principle, theory, or phenomena of Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics. The subject of the photo could appear naturally in an everyday situation or be contrived to demonstrate a particular concept. The entries did not disappoint!
The winners of the 2023 SUNY Broome STEM Photo Contest were each presented with a 16’ x 20” print on canvas of their winning photo, and winners in the student category were also each awarded an Amazon gift card.
Winners of the 2023 STEM Photo Contest
First Place, Student Category, $100 Gift Card
By: Alexandra Zalesski
Description: The black-eyed junco, a winter bird commonly seen in New York State, tends to nest within niches in the ground, and spots hidden by shrubbery or tree roots (and on occasion can be seen on or under buildings). The female junco selects a suitable location and weaves the nest. Typically, the outside of their nests is made of grasses, twigs, leaves and mosses. The inside of the next uses softer materials, such as hair, soft grasses, and moss. In the image, a female Junco can be seen with collected nesting material, giving it the appearance of having a mustache or whiskers. She is likely collecting soft grasses and dog fur to use for the inside lining of her nest.
Second Place, Student Category, $50 Gift Card
Title: Sticky Dew Drops
By: Alice Kosiba
Description: This is a close-up image of Drosera Adelae, commonly called the Lance-Leaved Sundew, seen at the 2023 Philadelphia Flower Show. This carnivorous plant has adapted to secreted what looks like water drops at the end of hair-like structures on its leaves. The drops are actually composed of an attractive nectar, adhesive compounds, and digestive enzymes, that lure, trap, and consume prey. Near the center of the picture you can see it has successfully trapped an insect.
Third Place, Student Category, $25 Gift Card
Title: Celestial Canvas: When solar Wind Meets the Earth’s Magnetosphere
By: Christopher Andrade
Description: My submitted photo of the Northern Lights above Faxaflói bay in Reykjavik, Iceland is a rare and breathtaking display of the STEM concepts of geomagnetic storms and the aurora borealis. While geomagnetic storms happen frequently, the conditions for a visible and vibrant Northern Lights display are less common, making this event a true spectacle. The rarity of this occurrence can be attributed to various factors, such as the intensity and direction of the solar wind, the Earth’s magnetic field, and the atmospheric conditions. Studying and understanding these complex concepts is crucial to predicting and preparing for space weather events, which can impact satellite and communication technology, navigation systems and power grids on earth. My photo serves as a stunning reminder of the beauty and scientific significance continuing STEM research and education.
First Place, Faculty/Staff Category
Title: Water Drop Refraction
By: Diana LaBelle
Description: A drop of water acts like a simple convex lens and refracts an image through it. In this case the image, placed behind the water drops, is refracted to the sensor of the camera that is places in front of the water drops. The refracted image is upside down because the camera sensor was beyond the focal length of the water drop lens.
Second Place, Faculty/Staff Category
Title: Ice Flowers
By: Frank Norton
Description: An early January warm spell was followed by a bitterly cold week. A small freely flowing stream was giving the surrounding air high relative humidity. Small objects sticking above the water or near the edge rapidly cooled to the ambient temperature which was well below freezing. Ice crystals soon formed on each nearby rock and twig surface. Given a significant breeze, the resulting rapid crystal growth would have produced a closely packed mass of small cloudy crystals on each object. When crystals are allowed to grow slowly in calm uniform conditions, new growth takes place at the edges of old crystals thus enlarging them. The conditions at the stream were optimal for several days which allowed the crystals to grow larger, longer, and more translucent, thus yielding “ice flowers”.
Third Place, Faculty/Staff Category
Title: Messier 66
By: Andrew Glenn
Description: Messier 66 is a spiral galaxy located 35 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Leo. In this image you can see the asymmetrical spiral arms likely due to interactions with other nearby galaxies along with the blue star forming regions bounded by the darker dust lanes that define the arms. This picture was taken with the Prompt 6 telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile using BVRL filters to create the color image.