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Illinois Junior Science
and Humanities Symposium

Illinois Junior Science
and Humanities Symposium

2002 in Review

The 24th Annual Illinois Junior Science & Humanities Symposium was held on the campus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale March 24-26, 2002. The program is made possible through the cooperative efforts of the U.S. Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, The Academy of Applied Science, and the College of Science at SIUC.

Almost 150 SIUC faculty, staff, postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduate students, as well as student organizations and external agencies volunteered their time and resources in assistance of the program.

Participating campus programs, units, and student organizations included: Admissions Welcome Center, Aerospace Studies (AFROTC), Army Military Science (ROTC), Association for Computing Machiner (ACM) Student Chapter, Center for Advanced Friction Studies, Center for Archaeological Investigations, College of Agriculture, College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts, Fisheries & Illinois Aquaculture Center, GenAg 311A, Library Affairs, Microbiology Student Organization (MSO), Minority Engineering Program, Office of Intramural Recreational Sports, Premedical Professional Association (PPA), SIU School of Medicine, Student Development, University Bookstore, and Zoology Graduate Student Association.

Outside program support was provided by Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois State Police Southern Illinois Forensic Science Centre, Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, Air Force Recruiting Service, Navy Recruiting Station, Saluki Bookstore, and 710 Bookstore.

Twenty-three teachers, 10 guests, and 92 students (125 total) attended the 2002 Illinois JSHS program, representing 28 schools from 23 counties across the state (11 Northern, 9 Central, 8 Southern). This year's participating schools included:

  • Bunker Hill High School, Bunker Hill, IL
  • Carbondale Community High School, Carbondale, IL
  • Century High School, Ullin, IL
  • Crescent-Iroquois High School, Crescent City, IL
  • Delavan High School, Delavan, IL
  • East Aurora High School, Aurora, IL
  • Elverado High School, Elkville, IL
  • Freeburg Community High School, Freeburg, IL
  • Grant Park High School, Grant Park, IL
  • Herrin High School, Herrin, IL
  • Kankakee High School, Kankakee, IL
  • Lockport Township High School, Lockport, IL
  • Macomb High School, Macomb, IL
  • Marissa High School, Marissa, IL
  • Mattoon High School, Mattoon, IL
  • Midland High School, Varna, IL
  • Mt. Pulaski High School, Mt. Pulaski, IL
  • Naperville Central High School, Naperville, IL
  • Naperville North High School, Naperville, IL
  • N.C.O.E. High School, Norris City, IL
  • Ottawa High School, Ottawa, IL
  • Rochester High School, Rochester, IL
  • St. Bede Academy, Peru, IL
  • Streamwood High School, Streamwood, IL
  • Taylorville High School, Taylorville, IL
  • University High School, Normal, IL
  • Villa Grove High School, Villa Grove, IL
  • Waterloo High School, Waterloo, IL

The keynote presentation, "Black Holes," was delivered by Dr. Carl M. Bender, Department of Physics, Washington University. Spring Biehl and Marcy Weezer of World Bird Sanctuary presented a Raptor Awareness Program at the banquet at Giant City Lodge. Mr. Len Behr of Stissing Mountain High School, Pine Plains, NY, presented a mini-workshop on "Teaching Authentic Science Research in the High School."

Young scientists made presentations to their peers and visited the laboratories of SIUC researchers to learn about ongoing efforts in developmental behavior genetics, fish genetics, forest ecosystems, lasers, marine biology, and more.

The event is one of 48 such symposia conducted nationwide. Five finalists from the IJSHS research paper presentations were awarded expense-paid trips to participate in the 40th National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, April 24-28, 2002, in San Diego, California, in cooperation with the San Diego science and technology community. The five finalists (in alphabetical order), their schools, their sponsoring teachers, and the titles of their papers are:

  • Stephen Brusatte, Ottawa High School, Mr. Joseph Jakupcak, "A Paleoecological Investigation of a Late Pennsylvanian LaSalle County Outcrop Using a Newly-Described Macroinvertebrate Fossil Fauna"
  • Wenyi Cai, Naperville Central High School, Mrs. Patricia Kenton/Dr. Jim Wang (Argonne National Laboratory), "Deconvolution modeling and Numerical Analysis of highly Transient Gasoline Sprays by X-radiography"
  • Emily Riehl, University High School, Dr. Carol Benson/Mr. Nicholas McCarthy (MIT), "On the Properties of Tits Graphs"
  • Krista Taake, Waterloo High School, Mr. Randy Halleran/Dr. Beverly Friend, "Characterization of Arabica Coffee Beans from Different Geographic Areas Using Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) Gas Chromatography"
  • Arun Thottumkara, Macomb High School, Ms. Kim Witt/Dr. T.K. Vinod (WIU), "Synthesis and Oxidation Reactions of a User- and Eco-friendly Hypervalent Iodine Reagent"

Emily Riehl of University High School won the regional competition and received a $4,000 undergraduate tuition scholarship from the U.S. Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. She presented her paper and competed at the National JSHS, where she placed third in Mathematics and Computer Science and received an additional $2,000 in scholarship monies.

Dr. Carol Benson, Emily's sponsoring teacher, will receive a $500 Faculty Award, honoring her contributions to advancing student participation in research.

Congratulations, Emily and Dr. Benson!

The second place finalist, Wenyi Cai of Naperville Central High School, was the recipient of an SIUC Academic Scholarship, valued at up to $4,500, to major in science at SIUC. Congratulations, Wenyi!

The second place finalist was unable to present her paper at the National JSHS. However, Krista Taake represented Illinois in the National JSHS noncompetitive session with her paper, "Characterization of Arabica Coffee Beans from Different Geographic Areas Using Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) Gas Chromatography." Thanks for your cooperative spirit, Krista!

Due to conflicts, two students were unable to attend the National JSHS. Nadia Ali and Tomas Filip, both of Carbondale Community High School, will attend the National JSHS as alternates. Their teacher is Mrs. Judy Martinko. Nadia's research was entitled "Isolation of (Per)Chlorate-Reducing Bacteria." Tomas' research was entitled "Kinetics of TiNi Shape Memory Alloy Oxidation."

Tom Wubben, a senior at Lockport Township High School, won 1st place in the Illinois JSHS Poster Session physical science division with "Resistance Compared to Cost Per Unit of Copper Wiring." His teacher is Dr. David DeVol. Congratulations, Tom!

Daniel Beisiegel, a senior at Freeburg High School, won 1st place in the Illinois JSHS Poster Session biological sciences division with "The Response of Corn, Soybeans, and Wheat to Simulated Hail Damage." His teacher is Mr. Thomas Range. Congratulations, Daniel!  

Comments: IJSHS Director

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