2019 Midwest Student Research Symposium Highlights
The Midwest U.S. GLOBE Student Research Symposium (SRS) took place 05-07 April 5-7. The event was hosted by Marcy Seavey, Sasha Wohlpart Science Educator, School Board Member, STEM Coordinator at the University of Northern Iowa. There were 36 students and five GLOBE teachers from Michigan and Indiana, USA, in attendance. Students presented 20 GLOBE research projects in a poster presentation session. Student projects were reviewed both by their peers and by local scientists and educators.
On Friday, students checked into the dormitories on the University of Northern Iowa campus, and had dinner at the nearby dining hall. Afterwards, students enjoyed a fun evening including "Restaurant Improv" with mathematics professor Dr. Doug Shaw, and a treasure hunt where teams had to solve a series of puzzles (including a sophisticated electronic lock system!) to open their treasure box.
Saturday began with a GLOBE parade, where the students carried a four-foot diameter Earth ball from their dormitories to the conference site. The reviewers included Dr. Ron Rinehart (UNI Assistant Professor Education Psychology & Foundation), Dr. Pavel Lukashev (UNI Assistant Professor Physics), and Peter Della Porta (Green Iowa Americorps Member). They spoke with the students while teachers participated in professional development on the GLOBE Carbon Cycle materials with the United States Country Coordinator, Jennifer Bourgeault (University of New Hampshire Leitzel Center). The students attended a short peer-review primer and each provided feedback to six of their peers during the peer-review session.
In the afternoon, the students and teachers participated in three-hour field experiences (selected for them based on their age and research topics). Many of the students spent the afternoon with Dr. Alan Czarnetzki, Dr. Chad Heinzel, and Dr. Siobahn Morgan (Earth & Environmental Science department) on an Earth-to-Space field trip. They learned how to observe local geology, collected air quality data, and participated in an open format planetarium show. The second field trip engaged the young scientists in playing an augmented reality game in the University of Northern Iowa Botanical Center, and then Dr. Dana Atwood-Blain (Curriculum and Instruction), taught them how to design their own science-themed educational game using open-source programs.
Four GLOBE partnership representatives, including Kevin Czajkowski, Sara Mierzwiak, and Janet Struble attended the event in support of the student-teacher teams. Autumn Burdick (SSAI), John McLaughlin (NOAA), and the UNI STEM Ambassadors assisted in making the event a success.
News origin: United States of America