Science students swap ideasCourier-Post
April 21, 2007
Students Lynn Goodfellow, Adam Capel and Kimberly Cuccia said their studies of human and animal bones may contribute to important scientific research in the future.
"In the future, researchers can use it to get more specific data from humans and animals," Goodfellow, 21, said.
Goodfellow was one of dozens of students to participate in Friday's 10th annual STEM Symposium at Rowan University. STEM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Rowan students and professors presented research projects in biological sciences, physics, anthropology and engineering. The symposium gave students a platform to share their research findings and ideas.
"Through research, students mature individually, professionally and as adults," said Gregory Hecht, associate professor and chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences. Hecht added that the symposium originated 10 years ago when Rowan's engineering programs were in their infancy. Since then, student participation has doubled.
Students of various disciplines work together in joint research projects during the school year. Collaboration puts Rowan students at the forefront of a world that is constantly evolving, Hecht added.
"Now the trend is how does something relate to all the other fields of science," Hecht said. "What's most exciting now is bringing the different disciplines together, which is important."
Graduate student William Weisnet, 23, presented a newly engineered robot that has dual functions as a boat and water quality indicator. Collaborating with biology students, he said, helped him improve the speed of the robot's motors.
"I think working together is a big benefit for the project," Weisnet said. "It's basically like they're our customer because we have the knowledge of creating the robot but they have the knowledge of biology."
Hecht added that the research projects teach students a universal lesson of responsibility, dependability and accuracy.
"Students are learning science outside of their disciplines and they'll have multiple years of experience doing research at Rowan," Hecht said. "It's a representation of a very vibrant academic community."