Research day provides life experience

 

March 19, 2014

By Amanda Ramirez

 

After attending a college or university for four years, students complete about 120 hours of credit in the classroom. Various assignments and lectures equip students with knowledge that can one day be applied to a career of their choice.

However, the classroom is not the only venue for education. Experiential learning allows students the opportunity to apply knowledge they acquired in the classroom to real-life experiences or issues.

On March 19, student researchers within the Undergraduate Research Program will participate in UW-Whitewater’s Undergraduate Research Day from noon to 3 p.m. in the University Center Hamilton Room.

Catherine Chan, director of the Undergraduate Research Program realizes the value of outside learning.

“[A] substantial portion of students realize they do not learn the best when they are just sitting in the classroom listening to a lecture,” Chan said. “There is value in that, but we are trying to promote the next step, that is the using and the application of that knowledge to topics that students are interested in.”

Undergraduate Research Day will begin at noon with opening remarks from the Provost. Then, there will be a series of live music and theatre performances. Spectators can locate presentations that pique their interests at the check-in before entering the event.

Oral and poster presentations will begin at 1 p.m. Faculty and staff judges will evaluate works and determine winners in each category. The chancellor will present awards in various categories at about 2:45 p.m.

Chan said there is a common misconception that research is solely based in mathematics or science fields. However, research can be conducted within any of the four colleges within the university.

“It doesn’t matter your major, if you have an area of interest that you want to look more into or you have a professor that you really want to work with, undergraduate research is a great opportunity,” said Hana Keller, biology premed and fine arts major.

The main purpose of the Undergraduate Research Program is to create opportunities for inclusive participation among students who wish to explore creative learning through faculty-mentored research and curriculum-based projects. It provides passionate students with a freedom to explore topics that interests them.

The program accepts students from freshman through senior year. However, the sooner students join, the more benefits they will gain.

The Undergraduate Research Program allows students to conduct research in various settings, including abroad, in the community, in the field or lab, on a stage or through interviews and surveys.

Keller will present research regarding microbiology, most specifically DNA, enzymes, proteins and RNA. Keller performed research during an internship with Standard Process, a local business that specializes in whole food supplements.

Keller said there were days when she would go to perform research for her internship after class, and she was able to directly apply the topics she had learned during that class period to her research.

“It made me appreciate all the stuff I am learning in school because it does have real job application,” Keller said.

Undergraduate researchers may differ from one another greatly in the topics they study, but they passionately pursue facts, reasoning and truth.

“If you are interested in a certain topic or question and you want answers to those questions, then this is the program for you,” Chan said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email