March 21, 2013

Media Advisory – Science/Humanities symposium

Science-minded high school students will be at SIU Carbondale from beginning today, Thursday, March 21 through Saturday, March 23, at the 35th annual Illinois Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

High school students from throughout Southern Illinois, the Metro East, and Chicago will participate in projects that include learning to track wild animals using radio telemetry; tackle urban issues as they build a “city,” or use colorimetric sensors to detect microscopic bacteria and viruses, along with other activities.

The event encourages students to participate in research, especially in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and to also present their own original, long-term research in a collegiate atmosphere among their peers.

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the symposium.

The opening ceremony, including a welcome from Chancellor Rita Cheng begins at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 21, in the John C. Guyon Auditorium in Morris Library.  On Friday morning, oral and poster presentations will take place in the library’s Guyon Auditorium and the third-floor Rotunda, and in the afternoon, interactive laboratory sessions are scheduled.  An awards banquet at Giant City Lodge and a romp at the Student Recreation Center will cap off Friday’s events.

The lab sessions and eco-excursions are a highlight for the students, and a good opportunity for photos, video and interviews for the media.

Here is the schedule:

            Friday, March 22 -- Lab Sessions, 12:30-3 p.m.

Lab Session A:

  • Trapping and Tracking of Wildlife.  Students learn to set live traps and use radio telemetry tracking. Jorista Van Der Merwe, Cooperative Wildlife Research Lab.
  • Fluvial Geomorphology in a Box.  Students build a river and landscape using an Em2 simulator. Candie Glover, Center for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences.

Lab Session B:

  • SIU Carbondale Vertical Green Wall, Green Roof, and Rain Garden. Students learn why we have these features and how to care for them. Mary Fisher, Department of Geography and Environmental Resources.
  • Applications of Stochastic Processes in Business and the Sciences. Students will build a “city” using probability to model complex “real world” systems. Greg Budzban, Department of Mathematics.

Lab Session C:

  • Boe-Bot Robots!  Students build sensor-powered robots and learn what they can and cannot do. Henry Hexmoor, Department of Computer Science.
  • Nanoscience.  Students make solar cells; learn to make colorimetric sensors to detect bacteria and viruses.  Punit Kohli, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
  • Psychology Lab Sampler -- 7 mini PSYC labs for the students to “sample!”

Saturday, March 23, Eco-Excursions, Touch of Nature Environmental Center, 8:30-11:30 a.m.

  • Eco-Trek Excursion. Students will hike in the forest and let the trees tell their tales.
  • Canoe Eco-Excursion.  Students will learn about canoeing, the Little Grassy Lake watershed and lake ecology.

For more information about the event or covering any of the activities, contact Kate Hellgren, 618/453-4168 or

NOTE: This is a separate event from the Illinois Junior Academy of Science Region 8 Science Fair, which is at SIU Carbondale’s Student Center on Thursday, March 21.  The event includes a public viewing of exhibits from 1 to 4 p.m.  You may also have received a media advisory about that event.