Media advisory: Students from across Iowa to visit UI for STEM-related research symposium

Media advisory: Students from across Iowa to visit UI for STEM-related research symposium

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WHAT: 2014 Iowa Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS), hosted by the University of Iowa College of Education's Belin-Blank Center. The U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force fund the program, designed to stimulate interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)-related research and careers.

WHEN: Thursday and Friday, Feb. 27 and 28, with lab tours from 10:30 to noon and 1:15 to 2:45 on Feb. 27, and a keynote address and awards presentation from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday, Feb. 28.

The best time to interview one of the 15 students from across the state who are presenting their original research is from 11:30 to 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, in the lower lobby of the Sheraton Iowa City Hotel.

WHERE: Most of the symposium will take place at the Sheraton Iowa City Hotel while the lab tours on Thursday, Feb. 27 will take place at various locations across the UI campus, either from 10:30 a.m. to noon or 1:15 to 2:45 p.m.

Different departments, colleges, and units across the UI campus will be opening up their facilities and sharing their expertise with the students including biology, chemistry, hydroscience and engineering, the UI Natural History Museum, nursing, physics, UI Health Care, pharmacy, computer science, and psychology.

For a complete schedule, call Lois Gray at 319-384-0077 or visit and click on 2014 Iowa Regional Program.

WHO: More than 150 of the state's top high school math and science students will visit the UI campus to share their research and learn from one another—along with their teacher mentors and chaperones.

A list of the students is available here by name, school district and county,

More than 150 high schools students from across Iowa submitted original research projects. Fifteen of these students were selected to present original research Thursday, Feb. 27, and more than 130 students are delegates who will also tour STEM activity labs and hear distinguished keynote speakers including Don Gurnett in physics and astronomy on Feb. 27 and Karim Abdel-Malek, in engineering, on Feb. 28.

The top five place finishers will attend an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. where Iowa’s top two place finishers compete at the national finals.

Susan Assouline, Belin Blank Center director, and Leslie Flynn, faculty member in science education and a member of the Belin-Blank Center STEM Initiative team, will be available for interviews both days of the symposium. Interviews with the students and teacher/mentors can also be arranged. Flynn can be reached at 651-295-7085 and Assouline can be reached at 319-541-2032.

WHY: The competition is designed to recognize, encourage, and engage students in scientific research while still in high school.

RESOURCES FOR BROADCAST AND PRINT MEDIA: A 1-minute video of highlights from the symposium will be available for download at after 5 p.m. on Thursday Feb. 27. For questions contact David Gamradt, UI Video Services, at 319-335-5741 or

A group photo of the 15 student researchers will also be shared with the hometown newspapers the week of Monday, March 3.

Reporters, photographers, or videographers who wish to cover the symposium should call Belin-Blank Center administrator Brian Douglas, in advance at 319-335-6444 or email Douglas can also be reached during the symposium on his cell phone at 319- 621-5066.

BACKGROUND: To see related stories on last year's symposium, see Future of STEM comes to Iowa City and STEM experience draws high school students from across Iowa


Lois J. Gray, University Communication and Marketing, 319-384-0077
Brian Douglas, Belin-Blank Center, 319-335-6444
Leslie Flynn, Belin-Blank Center, 319-335-5432


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