Annual research forum Thursday

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About 140 people will participate in the 11th Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum to showcase the results of a semester or more research or development of creative activities. The forum will take place on Nov. 15 in the Clark Student Center from 9 a.m. until about 4:30 p.m.

“It started out as a symposium for EURECA and UGROW scholarship students and it expanded to all colleges after the initial symposium as a way to give undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in research,” Julie Scales, undergraduate research secretary, said.

Scales said that, having started in 2013, the undergraduate research forum gets students involved in research that she said has benefits to their education.

“Undergraduate research is important because it helps students with their learning and learning how to ask questions to get results,” Scales said.

Students work with faculty to learn how to do research. They are given the choice to do a poster presentation in the student center or oral presentations in the Wichita, Comanche and Kiowa rooms in the student center.

“Since the forum started in 2013, it’s continued to get bigger with each semester,” Scales said. “There will be presentations from UGROW and EURECA students, independent research, class projects and senior design projects.”

As experts learn the most efficient ways students learn, universities strive to incorporate new methods of research.

Magaly Rincon-Zachary, director of undergraduate research, said, “There is a national movement to have undergraduate research available for students because we know they learn more and better by doing research.”

Research opportunities have been mostly unavailable to undergraduate students until universities have began incorporating programs like EURECA and UGROW.

“Very few undergraduate students participated in any kind of research because it just wasn’t available,” Rincon-Zachary said. “The students like it. And thats what its all about, and they are learning. They have a positive attitude toward it so it’s worth the extra time and effort.”

Rincon-Zachary said that this is the first year elementary students in the 1-5 grades will participate in the forum. These students from Fain Elementary School will present research they have done to the college students at MSU.

“We encourages students to come and visit and support the kids,” Scales said.

The staff at in the undergraduate research office support the early incorporation of new learning methods through research participation in elementary students, and juniors from Hirschi High School who will present at the forum.

“We may have the next president in the group, or the next physicist who will discover something about the universe,” Rincon-Zachary said.

Rincon-Zachary said there are a lot of reasons students should participate in undergraduate research.

“There are a few reasons students should participate in research. One is to learn and the second is that jobs and graduate programs are looking for students who have participated in and can conduct research,” Rincon-Zachary said. “They know those students will be able to learn more because they already know how.”

Melanie Ronoh, engineering senior, and participant in the undergraduate research forum said the hands on learning gained while participating in research helps students learn more effectively.

“A big part of the reason I do research is because it’s hands on. It looks good on my resume, and I get to learn more about things I’m not learning in class. For example, I learned about coding before I took the class,” Ronoh said.

Ronoh says she’s been working on a project and is excited to showcase the results of her work to other students to see and get excited about.

“I’m excited to present the new results. We have found new results between last forum and this forum. We are excited to present the things we’ve learned and the challenges,” Ronoh said. “Seeing other people’s research gives idea about things they never thought of. And give them an opportunity to come up with new ideas, or improve something we already have for society.”


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