Statewide science exposition puts Millikin on display
The Illinois Junior Academy of Science (IJAS) State Exposition made its way to Decatur, Ill., for the first time as Millikin University was the first private higher education institution in Illinois to host the annual exposition.
Held May 13-14, Millikin University welcomed over 1,100 middle school and high school students, plus judges, parents and families, to campus for the state exposition. The exposition is the largest high school and middle school research competition in Illinois.
Students from schools across Illinois exhibited research and design investigations. The students represented some of the best and brightest aspiring scientists, engineers, designers and problem-solvers in the state all competing for scholarships, best in category awards and other special awards.
"We were thrilled to host the Illinois Junior Academy of Science State Exposition," said Millikin University President Dr. Patrick E. White. "With over 1,100 of our state's best and brightest and most ambitious students here on campus, this gave us an opportunity to showcase Millikin's excellence in the sciences and the opportunities for Performance Learning across campus, while introducing hundreds of families to the warm hospitality of Decatur."
Throughout the event, Millikin fine arts students provided music and theatre performances while faculty members gave talks on their teaching and research interests.
Dr. James V. Rauff, professor of mathematics at Millikin University, provided the IJAS keynote address to a crowd of over 600 people on May 13 at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel. Dr. Rauff presented on swarm intelligence, an exciting interdisciplinary research area bringing mathematics, computer science, engineering and biology together to solve difficult problems.
"This gave us a chance to say what a great university and city we have," President White said. "We hope they had a wonderful time and saw a university that believes what they're doing is very important."
Millikin music ensembles including OneVoice, Jazz Band I, Latin Jazz Project, Wind Ensemble and the Eidolan Woodwind Quintet performed during the event. The University Men's Choir sang the national anthem at the closing award ceremony on May 14 in the Griswold Physical Education Center.
Students who participate in the IJAS State Exposition begin their research and design projects supported locally by their schools, teachers and parents. Students advance to their regional expositions, which select the top students to advance to the state exposition. Students can compete in an oral presentation exposition of their investigation or with a project display competition. Student presentations included the following topics: consumer and behavioral science, engineering, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, astronomy and astrophysics, and more.