Celebrating High School Innovators

Celebrating High School Innovators is a competition and program jointly coordinated among Millikin University, Illinois State University, and Pontiac Township High School in which the goal is to identify, recognize, and promote young innovators throughout the state of Illinois. We hosted the 4th annual competition and we were able to meet several aspiring high school innovators throughout the area.

These students compete for cash prizes to promote their work and university scholarship in one of five different disciplines: 

  • Arts, Media, and Literature
  • Business Entrepreneurship
  • Food, Health, and Nutrition
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Science, Technology, Engineerying, and Mathematics (STEM)

Contact Bethany Gotts, program coordinator at the Center for Entrepreneurship, for more details.

High School Art Show

Millikin's Art Department provides a unique setting to build strong relationships with area high school teachers, students, and their families through not only a juried art show, but also pre-show ACE - Arts*Creativity*Entrepreneurship - Workshops. It is this time of connection, through portfolio reviews, creative learning, and Q&A sessions with Millikin faculty and students, when prospective art students start to see the potential of their passsion for art being a very real part of their future career at Millikin and beyond. In 2018, High School Art Show winners received $4,000 in scholarships and $500 in cash awards.

Contact Johnny Power, Art Department adjunct faculty, for more details.


chemistry camp

Chemistry Camps

18 high school and junior high school students, alongside four undergraduates, during the third Chemistry Camp at Millikin worked together to do research on Lyme Disease, and - because we believe in doing chemistry as chemists do - campers immediately began exploring preventatives, diagnosis, and treatments for the disease.

They conducted experiments like:

  • Isolating enzymes from yeast to study different combinations of drugs to combat Lyme Disease
  • Examining their successful purifications via SDSPAGE gel electrophoresis, quantitative protein assays, and titration
  • Extracting DNA from ticks and using PCR to examine whether or not they were carrying Borrelia burgdorferi

Between experiments, the Center for Entrepreneurship coordinated speakers on the topics of Lyme Disease, effectual thinking, and presentation best practices. As always, each camp week ended with a presentation dinner for campers and their families. A highlight this year was a rap about Lyme Disease presented by some of the high school campers! Thanks to the generosity of Dr. John Hortenstine, class of 1965 and retired chemist from Johnson & Johnson Co., 3 high school and 2 junior high school students received chemistry camp scholarships this year.

Contact Dr. Anne Rammelsberg, Associate Professor of Chemistry, for more details.