April 17, 2007

Five advance in junior science & humanities event

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Five high school science students advanced to the National Junior Science & Humanities Symposium after competing recently in the regional event at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The University played host to the 29th annual event last month. SIUC, the College of Science and the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force sponsored the event, which was one of 48 regional competitions nationwide administered by the Academy of Applied Science.

The event is aimed at encouraging scientific research at the high school level. The Army and Air Force ROTC programs at SIUC support the symposium, as does the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.

The event centered on student presentations. Some presented papers outlining their work while others do traditional poster displays. Scott Ishman, assistant professor of geology at SIUC, gave a keynote address titled, "Global Change: Climate, Sea Level, and the Antarctic."

The students and their teachers also toured SIUC laboratories and spoke to researchers during the weekend event.

Linda Martin, assistant dean of the College of Science at SIUC and statewide director of the event, said almost 100 teachers, students and guests representing 18 schools attended the symposium.

All presenters received Illinois JSHS medals at a banquet at Giant City State Lodge during the SIUC event. Students selected to attend the national symposium are:

• Vivek Raman, Libertyville High School, first place

• Aparna Ramakrishnan, Naperville High School, second place

• Xinxin Zhang, Carbondale Community High School, third place

• Also attending the national symposium are Jason Bartholomew and Khrysta Dunkel of Carbondale high school.

With his first-place win, Raman will receive a $2,000 undergraduate tuition scholarship. Ramakrishnan will receive a $1,500 scholarship for second place and Zhang will receive a $1,000 scholarship for third. The U.S. departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force provide the scholarships.

Raman and Ramakrishnan will present their papers and compete at the national symposium.

Kurt Anderson, Raman's sponsoring teacher at Libertyville High School, will receive a $500 Faculty Award, honoring his contributions to advancing student participation in research.