EXPLORE Convention Grows in Second Year

explore convention
explore convention
NDSU.EDU | PHOTO COURTESY
The NDSU EXPLORE Convention has grown in its second year, with the university planning to continue the research presentations event in the future.

One hundred undergraduates are registered to present research presentations at the second annual NDSU EXPLORE Convention on Tuesday. The morning and afternoon will see oral presentations in the Memorial Union’s upper level, showcasing the broad studies at NDSU.

Provost Beth Ingram knows how diverse students’ studies can be at North Dakota State.

“NDSU Explore showcases the many students involved in research and creative works on our campus,” Ingram said. “This event is a stellar example of how we celebrate the hard work and dedication of students at a research university.”

Year two 

The EXPLORE program was started in 2014 by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity.

Although this is only the programs second year, EXPLORE is an annual celebration of undergraduate research and scholarly activity that goes on at NDSU, said the office’s associate vice president Sheri Anderson. The convention is open to everyone to attend, with morning session presentations from 10-11:30 a.m. and afternoon sessions from 1:30-3 p.m.

Oral presentations will be in the MU’s Hidatsa and Rose Rooms. Poster presentations will be in the Plains Room.

Participating students are able to have their presentations considered for an award, with winning projects receiving funding to present their work at a national conference, Anderson said.

EXPLORE’s welcome speaker this year is Jenny Olin Shanahan, director of undergraduate research at Bridgewater State University. She will be speaking on how participation in undergraduate research transforms students.

The opening speech will take place at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Memorial Union’s Great Room.

Anderson said the research students do transforms them during their college careers with deeper engagements and marked academic gains.

She added that Shanahan’s talk is relevant for students, faculty and administrators alike.

Ranges of research

A wide variety of presentations from all fields of study is on display at EXPLORE.

“Our students are working on projects ranging from biodegradable fishing gear to the preservation of artifacts at a county museum,” Ingram said. 

Senior Cooper Bierscheid, a manufacturing engineering major, will be presenting on “Utilizing Additive Manufacturing Process for Medical Devices,” a presentation about finding alternative manufacturing methods for prosthetics.

Senior theater arts major Nicole McArthur is presenting research on the accuracy of the historical context in the Broadway play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

Junior Nicole Ellingson, a natural resources management major, studied wetland restoration at the Albert Ekre Grassland Preserve southwest of Fargo and will present her research.

EXPLORE participants could either do research on their own or in a group. EXPLORE gives students a chance to share their research or creative work with the NDSU community while allowing them to meet other people involved in their field or interested in their subject area.

In addition, all EXPLORE participants receive experience presenting research and new skills.

EXPLORE is guided by a committee including faculty, libraries staff and staff from the TRIO/McNair Scholars program.

The program is coordinated by the research development staff in the Vice President’s Research and Creative Activity Office.

Student, faculty, and staff alike are encouraged to attend as many sessions as they can and to engage with students about their research and creative activities they are presenting on.

Other opportunities stemming from EXPLORE include preparing for graduate school or the work force. EXPLORE has increased in its second year, and NDSU plans to continue the event in hopes it will grow.

“Our students are doing remarkable work, and we’re incredibly excited to see some of that showcased on Tuesday,” Anderson said.

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