How will surviving plants adapt to the loss of millions of ash trees? Can we create a new mathematical model to help identify and treat epileptic brain tissue? If we ferment surplus vegetables, can we make them they last longer and feed more people?
Ohio Wesleyan University students explored these and other issues as part of their 2015 Summer Science Research Program experiences. For 10 weeks in May, June and July, 41 Ohio Wesleyan students immersed themselves in scientific research with faculty mentors, both on and off the OWU campus. In addition, seven students and teachers from other institutions traveled to Ohio Wesleyan to participate in on-campus research.
The student-researchers will make poster presentations and answer questions about their work at noon Sept. 21 during Ohio Wesleyan’s 23rd annual Patricia Belt Conrades Summer Science Research Symposium. The free, hour-long event will be held in the atrium of Schimmel/Conrades Science Center, 90 S. Henry St.
“Science cannot be learned solely from a book,” said Laura Tuhela-Reuning, assistant director of the Summer Science Research Program and part-time professor of botany-microbiology and zoology. “Science must be experienced through research, and at OWU, we encourage students to plunge in, preparing them to be successful researchers both at OWU and at other universities. Many first-year students are surprised to learn that they can contribute in substantive scientific research from the moment they arrive on campus.”
Ohio Wesleyan graduate Chloe Hamrick Williams, Class of 2011, agrees the annual research program provides vital real-world experience.
“My participation in research at OWU was one of my most meaningful college experiences,” said Williams, now a fourth-year medical student at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. “My hands-on, direct involvement in planning and organizing my own research projects under the guidance of my mentor helped me to get a research job for a private company immediately after graduating. Now, in medical school, my research experience stays with me as I apply the critical analysis hypothesis-based approach to caring for patients.”
Read research abstracts prepared by 2015 program participants and learn more about OWU’s Summer Science Research Program at http://ssrp.owu.edu.