Archived Story

20 seniors at research symposium

Published 8:50pm Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More than 20 high school seniors representing eight schools in Berrien and Cass counties will showcase “reinvented science education” at the 2012 BEST Early Research Symposium at 12:30 p.m. Friday.
The symposium will take place in Room A-107, the Chemistry Lecture Hall of Halenz Hall in the Science Complex on the campus of Andrews University. The public is invited.
The 2012 BEST Research Symposium highlights Berrien Regional Education Service Agency’s (Berrien RESA) Berrien County Mathematics & Science Center’s senior-level chemistry students’ research projects.
At the symposium, students will share research and demonstrate how to use modern instrumentation and university-level lab techniques they have mastered while researching topics such as dyes, novel fragrances/flavors based on ginger, hybrid drugs of ibuprofen and Vitamin C, biocompatible polymers, biodegradable cosmetic chemicals and molecular sensors with potential forensic applications.
Mathematics & Science  Center instructor Desmond Murray said early hands-on participation in science research allows high school students to begin contributing to that body of knowledge. This experience also increases their understanding of the innovation process.
According to Murray, surveys of past students indicated for more than 85 percent of them, this course was their first hands-on experience conducting independent lab research.
Further, 89 percent felt the experience was positive and important, 76 percent indicated greater interest in research, and 80 percent suggested that they would like to continue taking research classes.
“This chemistry course goes above and beyond what most high school students get to experience,” said Brandywine High School student Stephanie Harrell. “It’s a course that focuses on learning through application. We get to do original research under a professor, which sets us above the rest when it comes to college readiness.”
To learn more about BEST and their initiatives, visit

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