University of Nebraska-Kearney Sends STEM Projects to National Conference

Students-at-conferenceEarlier this month, we highlighted the unique opportunities available for STEM education at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

From industrial technology, to management information systems, to computer science and information technology, there are plenty of programs to help students progress through the university and matriculate with valuable, career-centric skills.

Earlier this month, students put their hard work into action. From April 16-18 in Spokane, Washington, the University of Nebraska at Kearney Undergraduate Research Council sent 27 students to present their original research at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research! This number is up 28% from last year’s number of students, so it is a positive sign of growth for both the students and the institution.

At the NCUR conference, students spent three days presenting their research, attending keynote speakers and graduate school fairs, and learning about research being done across the country. While not all presentations were STEM-related, plenty were.

Here were some of the standout STEM projects presented from UNK students from all over the globe.

“Physical Activity Motivation among Sororities and Fraternities.” Traci Turek, junior, Cairo, Egypt. Supported by Dr. Matthew Bice in the kinesiology and sport sciences department.

“Determination of the Role of the Transaldolases in Salmonella Pathogenesis.” Holly Hartman, junior, Colombus. Supported by Dr. Travis Bourret in the biology department.

“How Video Games and Simulation Can Be Used to Enhance the STEM K-12 Educational Experience.” Jacob Vega and Michael Livingston, seniors, Gibbon and Kearney, supported by Dr. Jose Mena-Werth in the physics and physical science department.

“Controlling LED Displays Through an Arduino Micro-Controller.” Will Jones, freshman, Papillion. Supported by Dr. John Hastings in the computer science and information technology department.

“Addressing the Future of Rural Dental Health: A Look at Mid-Level Dental Practitioners.” Cole Johnson, senior, Kearney. Supported by Dr. Michelle Fleig-Palmer in the management department.

You can find the whole list of projects and presentations here, but it’s important to note a few things. First, that students from all grade levels presented at the conference. The majority were juniors and seniors, but as a freshman or sophomore, being able to showcase your research at this extraordinary level is an amazing experience.

Second, even at the undergraduate level, there is important research being done at UNK that will support future career paths and interests. And finally, UNK gives students the opportunities to test their theories at a national level. Projects on enhancing STEM education, for example, are going to be incredibly important in the future, and Nebraska students are taking the initiative to work on them. In the words of sophomore Alexis Page, “I think it’s really cool that this particular conference encompasses all disciplines. I think seeing research from other departments is part of being a well-rounded person academically.”

Questions? Comments? Want to learn more? Leave them in the section below anytime!


photo credit: The Europas 2013 via photopin (license)