This story was originally printed in the March 2008 issue of Harker News.
Now in its third year, the Harker Research Symposium showcases student research projects to inspire students and give them a chance to present their hardest work in a scientific environment.
Projects on display will include those of Harker’s three Intel Science Talent Search (ISTS) semifinalists,seniors Frank Wang (“The Effect of Oxygenated Diesel Fuels on Emissions”), Thomas Roxlo (“Potential Clinical Applications of Celastrol”) and Senan Ebrahim (“Characterization and Synthesis of Silk III”).
Last year, presenters included Harker ISTS winners from the class of 2007, Adam Creasman, Carolyn Wang and Arkajit Dey, as well as other students from all three campuses. Other speakers included Harker alumni, students from Lynbrook High School and Monte Vista High School.
Symposium coordinator and science department chair Anita Chetty noted that the symposium is an opportunity for parents and middle schoolers to become familiar with the Harker research program and to find out what the student researchers really do.
In addition, the displays help budding researchers understand how to enter a research competition,what exactly a paper submitted to a competition looks like and what an oral presentation sounds like.
Chetty noted that at the end of the afternoon, workshops will be run on technical writing, internships and research competitions. Workshops can be attended by freshmen, sophomores and juniors and any interested parents. See the Research Web page for details on the workshops.
“The conference is also a way for our alumni doing research at post-secondary institutions to bring that knowledge back to us,” said Chetty. Three Harker alumni will present at this year’s symposium: Ankur Gupta ’06, currently at Carnegie Mellon University, Shilpa Vadodaria ’05, now at Columbia University, and Samantha Levinson ’06, UC Santa Barbara. “Finally, we have brought a very important element of the research process into the symposium in the form of companies that show the connection between research, everyday life, the economy and career opportunities for researchers,” said Chetty. “Everyone in the Harker community is welcome. I think everyone will be amazed at the quality of these presentations and the composure shown by these young researchers!”
Symposium Keynote Speker is Founder of Award-Winning Education Program
Geoff Green is the founder and director of the Canadian-based organization Students on Ice Expeditions (www.studentsonice.com), an award-winning educational program that has taken over 800 students, teachers and scientists from around the world on expeditions to both the Arctic and the Antarctic, according to his biography. The goal of the project is to give the world’s youth a heightened understanding and respect for our planet’s global ecosystem, and the inspiration to protect it. In 2005, Green received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from the U.S. Congress for his work with youth and the environment. He has lead scores of expeditions to the polar caps for a variety of organizations, including Discovery Channel, World Wildlife Fund, National Audubon and the Smithsonian Institution, and has been a guest speaker at the Royal Geographical Society in London and the Smithsonian Institution.