Undergraduate Virtual Symposium: Experiential Learning 2020

CBS Undergraduate Virtual Symposium: Experiential Learning

The CBS Undergraduate Symposium: Experiential Learning was scheduled to be a one-day event that would publicly display student projects/artifacts related to experiential learning. The symposium was to include, poster presentations, lightening talks and course pitches. However due to the recent changes as a result of COVID-19 our plans for the symposium were drastically altered. With a rapid turn to social distancing and remote working, the planning committee was faced with the tough decision of cancelling the symposium completely or looking for an alternate option. We decided to put it to the students to see if they were interested in turning to a virtual format. In true fashion our students rose to the occasion and as a result CBS was proud to offer its first undergraduate symposium, virtually.

We had students participate from seven different experientaly learning courses and one experiential learning co-curricular activitiy:

  • Advanced Anatomy - HK 4441/2
  • Research Project in Molecular and Cellular Biology - MCB 4500/MCB 4510
  • Internship in Biological Science BIOL 3660
  • Integrative Problems in Biological Science BIOL 4020
  • iGEM
  • Teaching Learning and Knowledge Transfer HK 4510 and HK 4511
  • Applied Nutritional and Nutraceutical Science NUTR 3390
  • Thesis in Integrative Biology  IB 4521/2

The outcome? AMAZING. 

We are so proud of all of our students and how they took up the challenge. While still juggling all their other course work, preparing for exams and adjusting to our 'new normal', our students submitted videos that were both engaging and informative, as you will see below. 

Poster Competition

Students were asked to submit a copy of their poster along with a video of themselves describing their research. Posters were judged based on the quality of the poster itself along with their ability to present the information in an engaging manner for an educated but non-specialized audience, all within 3 mins. Following the formal presentation students were then asked to address the following question " What have you learned through this process?".

The winner of the poster competition was James Mesich from the Thesis in Integrative Biology class for this work on Reinstatement in Amphibians. Watch James's video presentation on YouTube or access the video transcript of his presentation.

The runners-up in this category were Pooja Sankar and Ashley Fisher. Watch Pooja and Ashley's presentation on YouTube or access the transcript of Ashley and Pooja's presentation.

Lightening Talks

For the lightening talks students were allowed to submit one slide along with a video presentation no longer than 3 mins in length that summarized their work they did as part of a course project (e.g. research project, community project, product development project, etc.).

The winner of the lightening talk was Enzo Baracuhy and Sarah Cumberland from iGem. Watch Enzo and Sarah's lightning talk on YouTube or access the transcript of Enzo and Sarah's talk.

The runner-up of the lightning talk was Samantha Ramirez. Watch Samantha's lightning talk on YouTube or access the transcript of the video of Samantha's lightning talk.

Course Pitch

Students participating in this category were asked to deliver a three-minute presentation about an experiential learning course offered by the College of Biological Science. The goal of the course pitches were to convince other students to take the course by highlighting some of the work that was done in the course and how it impacted students’ learning and experience.

The winner of the course pitch was Samantha McLellan for her pitch on BIOL 4020 - Integrative Problems in Biological Science. Watch Samantha's course pitch on YouTube or access the transcript of Samantha's video pitch.

Runner-up - Brooke Evans in HK 4521/2 Teaching Learning and Knowledge Transfer - E-Textbook Project. Watch Brooke's presentation on YouTube or access the transcript of Brooke's video presentation.

Janie Vu and myself, Heather Pollock, would like to thank the Dean and Associate Dean Academic of the College of Biological Science for supporting the event along with numerous faculty and instructors who have mentored these students and encouraged them to participate in the event. Thank you to those in our CBS Alumni community whose generousity made this virtual symposium possible. Also, thank you to the CBS communication and graphics staff who helped with the technical expertise that allowed us to post these accessible videos. 

Finally a big thank you goes out to all the students who participated in the event. We are very proud of you and your work. We can't wait to see what you'll do next.