March 28, 2005

High school students to present research

by Katharine Quaranta

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- High school students from across the state will gather at Southern Illinois University Carbondale next week to present their research and compete for regional and national awards at the 27th annual Illinois Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

The symposium is Sunday, April 3, through Tuesday, April 5.

In addition to presenting their own research, the 84 students from 21 Illinois high schools will to tour University laboratories and learn from professional researchers through hands-on demonstrations. These laboratory visits include such topics as landscape design, hazardous waste, frictional material testing and wetland ecology.

Media Advisory

Reporters and photographers are welcome to cover the keynote address, paper and poster presentations, laboratory sessions and award ceremonies. See the schedule listed below for dates and times. For more information, contact IJSHS Director Linda S. Martin at 618/453-7062.

Twenty-one students are presenting their research, either in paper or poster form, to their peers and judges on Monday, April 4. Prizes include a total of $3,000 in undergraduate tuition scholarships, a $3,000 SIUC academic scholarship, medals and cash awards. The top five students in paper research will receive invitations for an expense-paid trip to the National JSHS, April 27-May 1, in San Diego.

Topics of the presentations include: Bacterial pollution in recreational waters, hull performance as a function of bow design, and task-specific self-efficacy manipulation and short-term memory performance.

The symposium is one of 48 regional competitions nationwide, and one of two in Illinois. The other symposium in Illinois, at Loyola University, is for students in Cook County.

Judges include faculty members from SIUC science departments who volunteer their time to support this competition.

"Our judging panel is superb," IJSHS Director Linda S. Martin said. "I would put our judging panel next to the national panel."

Martin is also enthusiastic about the benefits that students gain by attending the symposium. "For some it is a way to showcase their talents…and meet other students with similar interests," she said.

Others, particularly those who do not compete, can take advantage of the enrichment aspects of the event.

"Some of the students are first-generation college students," Martin explained. "They can come here and be inspired by what other students are doing."

Arun Throttumkara, the winner from last year's competition, is now a student at Harvard University, where he is trying to start an undergraduate research program similar to one already in place at SIUC. Many students who participate in this symposium continue their education at SIUC and other top universities around the country.

Richard E. Smalley, a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, will present "Our Energy Challenge" as the keynote address at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 3, in the Student Center Auditorium. Smalley, a professor at Rice University, will speak about the necessity of finding a new energy source in order to sustain the modern lifestyle throughout the world.

The U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force, the Academy of Applied Science, and SIUC sponsor the symposium.

Establishing and enhancing partnerships with other governmental units and private industry are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.

The complete schedule follows. All events, other than laboratory visits, are at the Student Center unless otherwise noted.

Sunday, April 3

  • 7:30-9 p.m. – Opening session. Keynote address: Richard E. Smalley, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Student Center Auditorium. Event open to the public.
  • 9-10 p.m. – Public Reception.

Monday, April 4

  • 8:30-9:30 a.m. – Open discussion with Smalley. Event open to the public.
  • 9 a.m.-noon – Paper Presentations. Event open to the public
  • 2-2:50 p.m. – Laboratory visits.
  • 3-4:30 p.m. – Poster session. Event open to the public.
  • 6-8:30 p.m. – Banquet, Giant City Lodge. Banquet presentation, Tom J. Ulrich , SIUC wildlife photographer.

Tuesday, April 5

  • 9-10:50 a.m. – Laboratory visits.
  • 11-11:30 a.m. – Awards ceremony. Event open to the public.