Future of STEM comes to Iowa City

Future of STEM comes to Iowa City

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Belin-Blank Center symposium draws students from across state to share research Feb. 28-March 1
Student working with John Manak in genetics lab.
A student works in a genetics lab with John Manak, UI associate professor of biology and pediatrics.
Photo courtesy of Kirk Murray.

Some of the state’s top high school math and science students will gather in Iowa City Feb. 28 and March 1 to share their research and learn from one another at the annual Iowa Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS).

The event is hosted by the University of Iowa College of Education’s Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development.

An estimated 150 high school students from more than a dozen communities across the state will participate. Students will come from as far away as Spirit Lake and as close as Iowa City West. Other communities represented include Keokuk, Vinton-Shellsburg, Ames, Des Moines, Cedar Falls, Burlington, and Central Lee, to name a few.

Students will have a chance to tour working Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) labs on the UI campus and attend keynote lectures by Donald Gurnett, a UI professor of Physics and Astronomy, and Jerold Schnoor, co-director of the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research in the UI Office of the VP for Research.

JSHS aims to widen the pool of trained talent prepared to conduct research and development vital to our nation.

portrait of Susan Assouline
Susan Assouline

“JSHS is Iowa STEM and the UI at their very best,” says Susan Assouline, Belin-Blank Center director. “We get to show off our wonderful campus and labs and the students give us insight into the future of STEM research. It’s one of the most energizing days of the year.”

The top five presenters at the event, which draws students from all over the state, will be invited to attend the 51stannual national JSHS symposium in Dayton, Ohio, this spring.

Regional and national JSHS Symposia are sponsored by the Academy of Applied Science, Inc., the U.S. Department of the Army, the Office of Naval Research, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. David Deyak, a UI professor of military science, will present the awards to the top five presenters.

Editor's Note: Reporters, photographers, or videographers who wish to cover the symposium should call Brian Douglas at 319-335-6444 or email brian-douglas@uiowa.edu. Most of the symposium will take place at the Sheraton Iowa City Hotel while the lab tours on Thursday, Feb. 28 will take place at various locations across campus, either from 10:30 a.m. to noon or 1:15 to 2:45 p.m. The best times to cover the symposium will be the lab tours, during student presentation sessions, when students will display and explain their research, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. or 1:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Feb. 28, or between 9 a.m. and noon on March 1, when Schnoor will give his keynote address, award winners will be announced, and Assouline will give closing remarks.


Brian Douglas, Belin Blank Center, 319-335-6444


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