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K-State Today

December 12, 2016

College of Education hosts research fair for undergraduate students

Submitted by Patrice Scott

2016 undergraduate research fair

Several undergraduate students in the College of Education presented their research findings during the fall 2016 Research and Creativity Fair Dec. 8 at Kansas State University. 

Todd Goodson, chair of the curriculum and instruction department, said this is the fair's third year and students choose to participate for a number of reasons. 

"Some participants are honor students who present their honors projects," Goodson said. "Senior art education students typically present their senior art projects while other students present research projects they completed with faculty members, as is the case with our Rural Arts Day project." 

Debbie Mercer, dean of the college, said many people don't realize research is actually a crucial part of what teachers do every day when they observe their students. 

"Teachers are constantly evaluating what's happening in the classroom," Mercer said. "Sound research techniques and principles help teachers conduct studies to determine what is working to enhance student learning in their classrooms." 

Goodson believes research experience equips future teachers with an important tool as a professional. 

"It's one thing to be a teacher," Goodson said. "It's another thing to be a teacher leader. Teachers become leaders of other teachers by developing their own ideas through reflection and creativity, and by sharing what they learned. This fair gives our students an opportunity to see themselves as professionals with ideas and experiences worth sharing with their peers." 

The following future educators made presentations at the symposium: 

• Jenny Karr, senior in secondary education-biological sciences, Allen, "Designing Instruction to Affect Student Engagement and Motivation in Middle Level Science." 

• Meredith Clark, senior in secondary education-English, Barnard, "Rural Arts Day: A University/High school Partnership Celebrating Identity through Integration of Music and Writing." 

• Mellissa Wiltrout, senior in secondary education-English, Herrington, "Culturally Responsive Literacy Lesson." 

• Blake Madsen, senior in secondary education-English, Manhattan, "Teaching Heroism Literature in a Diverse Classroom." 

• Nicole Kraly, senior in secondary education-modern languages, Shawnee, "The Role of L1 in L2 by Learning." 

• Rylee Shea, senior in elementary education, Shawnee, "Investigating the Different Uses and Effects of Music in the Classroom."   

• Melissa Smith, senior in elementary education, Onaga, "Science of Sound (Creating Instruments with Students)." 

• Tiffani Lawrence, senior in secondary education-English, Overland Park, "Star-Gazing at the Center of the World." 

• Peter Fisher, senior in secondary education-chemistry, Overland Park, "The Effect of Student Involvement in Building Models to Learn the Structure of Ionic Compounds." 

• Adam Schmitz, senior in secondary education-biological sciences, Westmoreland, "Teaching Plate Tectonics in a Seventh-Grade Earth." 

• Lucia Scott, senior in secondary education-speech, Wichita, "Communication and Diversity: Gender Neutral Pronouns in the Classroom." 

The fair was created by the curriculum and instruction department's Research and Scholarship Committee and is chaired by Sherri Martinie, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction.