Researchers end competitive season with a win

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In one of the last trips of the year, research students traveled to compete in the annual CeMast Symposium. Following a long day of travel, they arrived April 30 to Normal, a small town in Illinois to compete in the competition for the second year in a row.

At the symposium, over 60 students presented one-on-one to their judge, and participated in  in-depth conversations with them regarding their research. “This trip really helped me step out of my comfort zone,” said freshman Shriya Naarshima.  “I really got to discuss my project with my judge and reflect on my experiment. I specifically got feedback about ways to further analyze my data and tips on future publication in student journals.” 

Post-judging, students were given rubrics with valuable feedback provided and ideas for further research.  

They also had the chance to explore Illinois State, where the symposium was held. This included viewing classrooms and playing touch football on the field. 

Following judging, sophomores Calvin Mathew and Kamilat Mustapha won first and second place respectively. Following her win, Mustapha said, “I’m glad I won, but I’m even happier that I came on the trip. I became closer with a lot of people and had a lot of fun, even if our flight was a little delayed.” Students returned home May 2, ending their research competitive season with a win. 

Sophomores Calvin Mathew and Kamilat Mustapha pose with their certificates post-awards ceremony. Mathew’s project was regarding hydrogel knee implants, while Mustapha’s was encoding a prediction system for turtle nesting. (Photos/Emma Delgado)

As a junior, this is Emma’s second year in the Patriot Post and she’s excited to be the Assistant Online Editor this year. Outside of newspaper, she’s involved in and has office positions in Science Research, Key Club, FBLA, Model UN, and other clubs, including honor societies and her own nonprofit. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching dramas on Netflix, listening to Taylor Swift, and hanging out with friends. She’s very excited to work on the Patriot Post this year!