March 27, 2012
Many teachers at Elsberry Schools go beyond just work in the classroom to help their students achieve and explore their educational abilities. High School Science teacher, Kenna Heitman, is one of those very teachers. For the last 16 years she has taken students to The Missouri symposium, held at the University of Missouri St. Louis, it is one of forty-eight regional symposia held at universities nationwide. Over spring break fourteen Elsberry High School students attended the 39th Junior Science, Engineering and Humanities Symposium March 15-17th in St. Louis with Mrs. Heitman.
Highlighting the symposium is the presentation of research results by student from all over the state. Presenting original research before a team of judges, as well as peers and teachers, challenges students to defend their reasoning and articulate specific findings, and provides an excellent learning experience. Students submitting papers had their work judged by scientists on the quality and originality of their research.
Participants have the opportunity to tour research facilities and visit informally with employees of major firms such as Alberici, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Emerson Motor Company, Genome Sequencing Center, LMI Aerospace, Inc., Missouri Botanical Garden, Monsanto Life Sciences Company, Innoventor, Inc., Sigma-Aldrich, Solutia Inc., and U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Open houses were sponsored by departments such as Anthropology, Biology,
Chemistry, Computing and Networking Services, Mathematics and Computer Science, Physics, and Psychology at the University of Missouri–St. Louis campus. This was an opportunity for students to get a look at the nature and scope of university research and academic programs.
After attending the symposium, many students are then inspired to design and implement their own research projects. When asked about the opportunity for students, Mrs. Heitman said , “Attending the Science Symposium gives them an opportunity to see what students just like them are doing in schools just like theirs. Hopefully some of them will raise the bar for themselves and try their hand at something out of the ordinary. The opportunities are out there. There’s no reason in the world to settle for being average when it comes to education, ambition, and achievement.”