August 24, 2018

Hundreds of high school students attending SIU Day on Sept. 19

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale will welcome hundreds of high school students to campus on Sept. 19 for the inaugural SIU Day, a fun-filled, college-wide day including more than 30 interactive activities and demonstrations to highlight some of the diverse programs, facilities and services offered on campus.

Invitations have been extended to sophomores, juniors and seniors from about five dozen neighboring school districts, according to Pamela Smoot, history assistant professor and event organizer.

Will serve as SIU showcase

The goal is to give teens a glimpse into what the SIU experience is like. Participants will enjoy special displays, musical entertainment, a free lunch and getting acquainted with students, faculty and staff.

High school students can also choose a couple of exploratory sessions to attend from more than three dozen interactive options. Each showcases a different aspect of the campus, from its academics to its student organizations, from its labs and creative spaces to its sustainability initiatives.

“Something will be going on everywhere on campus throughout the day,” Smoot said. “We want prospective students from the area to really see how beautiful campus is, how great SIU is and what all we have to offer. We hope they’ll see for themselves that SIU is a place they want to come back to.”

Abundant options

Students can choose two of these sessions:

Admissions office: Enjoy a guided tour of SIU’s beautiful campus; see where Salukis live, study, research and have fun.

Agriculture: Visit the green roof, where plants live atop the Agriculture Building; the vertical garden, built into an interior building wall; and the greenhouse. 

Architecture/Interior Design/Fashion Design: Participate in a fun, hands-on custom-building activity and discover what’s involved in designing buildings and spaces for people. 

Automotive: Meet members of the Saluki Racing teams, start up their racecars and watch live airbag deployment and vehicle dynamometer demonstrations. 

Aviation: Check out flight simulators where SIU aviators start learning to soar and fly a drone through an obstacle course. 

Allied Health: Tour the school’s many health career labs and view the diagnostic and other equipment and the clinic. 

Art and Design: Discover the many elements of art and design, including art education and history, communication and industrial design, view a display of student artwork and tour the Glove Factory and studio spaces. Find out about the numerous types of art and design, such as blacksmithing, ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture and view demonstrations, including glass blowing and ceramics. 

Center for Archeological Investigations:  See demonstrations of the magnetometer (which locates metals underground) and ground-penetrating radar (the method used to find subsurface artifacts and bones), along with excavation. 

College of Business:  Experience innovation and the future of business through a Bloomberg technology demonstration which provides state-of-the art real-time simulations of commodities and financial trading, and meet with a student panel, comprised of business majors. 

Communication Studies: Discover “Ignite Talks,” speedy five-minute presentations that can focus on any topic but during which accompanying slides advance every 15 seconds, and see how they are produced. Students submit their talks for competitive review during the regional April 2019 competition (

Education:  Participate with student teachers in “The Good, the Bad, and the Magnificence of Teaching” workshop; view a speech pathology and audiology demonstration; tour SIU’s Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders and its Child Development lab; and get acquainted with the behavioral analysis and therapy program, which has smoking, language, gambling and other labs. 

Engineering: Chose from eight different sessions:

  • “Moonbuggy” - See SIU’s very own student-built craft, created to compete in NASA’s Human Exploration Rover Challenge, held at the NASA Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. See the buggy that must traverse three-quarters of a mile of a simulated terrain and talk with the students who design the Rover and compete in the elite competition.
  • Sights and sounds of electricity – Join in a laboratory activity utilizing electronic instruments as you observe the shapes and sounds electrical signals make, and observe how changing signal parameters affects the shape of the signal display.
  • Stem Cells - Explore the process of force mediated stem cell differentiation into functional body cells.
  • Animal behavior tracking – Check out a lab demonstration focusing on an animal behavior tracking system and its brain activities.
  • Racecar – Come see the Formula-style racecar designed and built by SIU students, with the goal of creating the most reliable, efficient, ergonomic, lightweight, functional car possible. The team competes in an elite collegiate design competition annually and this is your chance to see the car and talk with those who created it.
  • Concretology – Cement concrete is one of the world’s most widely used construction materials because of its strength and moldability. Learn why it’s so widely used in civil engineering projects and break some concrete cylinders.
  • Water everywhere – Get in the labs and find out via special activities how fast-flowing water affects dams, bridges and other structures.
  • An Internet-of-things-based virtualized environment – Put on augmented reality glasses and use special Microsoft Hololens equipment to interact with physical objects via virtual switches.

English:  Participate in four, 30-minute interactive discussions revolving around such intriguing topics as the importance of “Harry Potter” and human rights as portrayed in the “Game of Thrones.”

Fermentation Institute:  Tour the Fermentation Lab and see how beer is made.

Geography and Environmental Resources: Discover all the great things happening at SIU involving sustainability, environmental resources and making the world a greener place. Learn about the Campus Lake Eco-Recreation project, which includes a solar-powered fountain and other prototype elements; explore the costs and environmental impact of textiles and disposable water bottles; find out about sustainable meals and how food goes full cycle at SIU, from the dining hall to the compost facility to landscaping and university farms, where food is grown for campus dining. The Saluki Green Action Team will also be on hand, using games, fun quizzes and activities to highlight the effects we all have on our environment.

History:  See history come alive through interesting historical re-enactments.

Intercollegiate Athletics: Tour SIU athletic facilities and meet with Saluki student athletes who will discuss balancing academics with athletics.

Library Affairs: Explore the “Mysteries of Special Collections” where true treasures are found, see a 3-D printer demonstration and view University Museum exhibits including pop art, abstract art, Papua New Guinea pottery and archeology finds from around the world.

Languages, Cultures and International Trade: Discover cultures from all over the world as a panel of SIU student Study Abroad Program participants share their experiences in other countries, along with refreshments from different cultures and a presentation on insults in various languages and what they reveal about their respective cultures.

Linguistics: A student will give a speech and be able to see it analyzed via a spectrograph, which separates sound waves by lengths and maps the spectrum (speech analysis). There will also be a lesson on invented languages.

Mass Communications: Experience the media of today through a video/cinema camera and lighting demonstration and a 2-D animation demonstration. Explore the converged newsroom where the Daily Egyptian and River Region Evening Edition are produced and participate in a journalism workshop.

Mass Communications and College of Science: See “In the Shadow,” an intriguing documentary created by SIU professionals and students about the full eclipse over Southern Illinois in August 2017 and the excitement that gripped the region.

MedPrep: Students will meet with SIU MedPrep students and hear what it takes to prepare for a career in medicine, including the importance of having a science background.

Political Science: SIU undergraduate student government and high school student government representatives will gather for an hour-long discussion.

Psychology:  "From Neurons to Nations: The Science of Psychology" will acquaint students with neuroscience via exciting, hands-on activities and help them learn about the psychology of prejudice through activities and discussion.

Science: Check out the fascinating labs and observe interesting chemical demonstrations.

SIU Law School: “So You Want to be a Lawyer” provides students with a courtroom tour and the chance to experience a mock trial.

Student Panels: Hear what college life is really like as SIU students share their college experiences in and outside of the classroom and meet leaders of campus Registered Student Organizations.

Student Support Services: Learn about the many services SIU offers its students to help them adjust to college life, complete their degrees and plan for success. That includes individualized tutoring, connecting students to cultural, social and educational opportunities and help with choosing careers, courses and majors.

Theater:  SIU produces numerous complete theatrical presentations each year, with this season’s offerings including “Pippin,” “Julius Caesar” and more. Here’s your chance to tour the facilities where the magic happens.

Touch of Nature:  Students can try out the climbing wall and other fun activities.

Admission application fee waiver

High school seniors attending SIU Day are also eligible for a fee waiver if they would like to submit a fall 2019 application to SIU. To qualify, students should bring their official transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores, if applicable, in a sealed envelope, or already have them on file at SIU. Admissions counselors will be available to assist with applications.

Register now

All those attending SIU Day will also get a packet filled with goodies, including an SIU Day T-shirt. The event is completely free, but pre-registration is required. School districts throughout the region have been sent information and will register student groups together. Home schooled students are also welcome to attend. Find registration and other details online.

Representatives of the city of Carbondale, campus student organizations and others from across campus are assisting with SIU Day, which will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., to assure an enjoyable day for all who come.