NSU Science Showcase

Science lab equipment and chemicals in Bienvenu Hall. Photo credit: Valentina Perez

Science lab equipment and chemicals in Bienvenu Hall. Photo by: Valentina Perez

MADDIE FRY
Reporter

At NSU’s School of Biological and Physical Sciences, most students spend an average of 3-5 hours studying every week per class. Since most students take more than 12 credit hours per semester, their weekly workload requires dedication and focus.

NSU students will show the results of their hard work in the
Science Showcase on Friday, Feb. 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and the event will give high school students the opportunity to see what it’s like to be a science major at NSU.

The showcase will start in the Friedman Student Union, with welcome messages from Acting President Chris Maggio, Creative and Performing Arts Director Greg Handel, and Biological and Physical Sciences Director Francene Lemoine and will include a student-led Q&A panel.

Interested students will have an opportunity to view demonstrations, participate in hands-on experiments with faculty and closely observe the research projects of NSU science students.

The showcase will provide insight into the areas of biomedical science and microbiology, natural science and ecology, veterinary science, chemistry and physics. Additionally, it is an opportunity to recruit prospective NSU freshmen. Colby Lasyone, an instructor in biological sciences, hopes for a nice turnout.

“It is our hope that students will leave with an interest in and greater appreciation for the sciences at Northwestern State,” Lasyone said.­­

Over the past year, NSU’s faculty for the School of Biological and Physical Sciences has been working to provide crucial resources to their students. Between finding grants, setting up lab spaces that haven’t been used in years and teaching students how to use brand new equipment, Assistant Professor Christopher Lyles has his work cut out for him.

“[At other schools], most undergraduate science majors don’t get to spend hands-on time learning to use the equipment,” Lyles said. “At NSU, the goal is to make sure our students are able to learn and become comfortable using these machines.”

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Microscopes available to students in Bienvenu Hall. Photo by: Valentina Perez

The department hopes to continue getting grant money, despite recent state budget cuts. It can cost upwards of $300,000 to purchase just a few of the many new machines in the labs.

“We have to find the money where we can; the budget cuts are not an excuse,” Lyles said.

Students who attend the showcase will see research posters created by NSU science majors, giving NSU students the opportunity to introduce their research and prepare for professional development. The posters are constantly updated as research continues to ready them for eventual publication. This falls under the JOVE Scholarship, an opportunity for 40 students to receive $500 per semester to conduct research with faculty members and learn the interview process to prepare them for their future careers.

The showcase is free for high school students, but NSU students are invited to Bienvenu Hall between 11:15 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. to observe the research being conducted.

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