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Arkansas STEM students to present at State Capitol | Community Spirit

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Arkansas STEM students to present at State Capitol
Arkansas STEM students to present at State Capitol

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (University of Central Ark.) - More than 90 undergraduate students will present 64 posters highlighting their original research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) on Wednesday, Feb.11 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the Arkansas State Capitol Rotunda in Little Rock.

This is the fourth consecutive year for the Arkansas STEM Posters at the State Capitol. The University of Central Arkansas is the primary organizer of the event, with support and participation from other Arkansas colleges and universities. The Arkansas STEM Posters at the State Capitol is modeled after the STEM Posters program at Murray State University in Kentucky. Both are designed to mirror the Posters on the Hill event at the U.S. Capitol.

Students from15 Arkansas public and private universities and colleges will be stationed with their posters, which include photographs and other representations of their data, to discuss their research with state lawmakers, high school students, media and the general public. Research will be discussed in layman’s terms so that all in attendance can understand and appreciate the significance of the work.

“Communicating our science and math to a general public audience is not something we are frequently trained to do. That makes this opportunity for students to present their research all the more valuable to them,” said Patrick Desrochers, professor and chair of the UCA Department of Chemistry and principal organizer of this event.

One of the goals of the event is to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the level of complex research in natural sciences and mathematics conducted by students at Arkansas colleges and universities. Another goal is to increase enrollment and retention of students in STEM fields. Approximately 50 high school students and STEM teachers from six high schools across the state will also attend this year’s event.

Desrochers said, “This event provides a means by which undergraduate science and math researchers from across the sate can interact with Arkansans who are in a position to help promote and benefit from the work they do. This includes statewide elected officers and legislators, who can promote the work in the capitol and in their home districts.”

The presenting students, faculty mentors, and other university representatives will have lunch after the poster event. The luncheon keynote speaker will be Tom Goodwin, professor of chemistry at Hendrix College.

To learn more about the Arkansas STEM Posters at the State Capitol event, visit http://faculty.uca.edu/wvslaton/ARposters/