We had a fun and productive summer research program again this summer! We were fortunate last fall to be awarded an REU site grant from the National Science Foundation, so that enabled us to enlarge the program from the size that it has been for the last few years. We have a very long history of summer research, but this was one of our biggest programs ever, with five faculty and 14 students!
The outreach program for BWISER is always a hit with both the BWISER campers and the summer research students. The group doing the “Lightyears in the Movies” demo had the students put on caps with various solar system objects (the sun, the moon, Pluto, etc) and try to stand at scale distances apart. We have a complicated program where the BWISER campers rotate through seven different demonstrations, learning about light and sound waves, and are completely wowed by the end of two hours.
In addition to our weekly picnics, and infamous pie festival, we also had a delicious ice cream social for not just the REU students but all the summer research students on campus. I’m pretty sure the professors had as much fun dishing up the ice cream as possible.
The finale for the program was the poster session where all the REU students presented their work to family, friends, and colleagues. Due to the size of the program, we held the poster session upstairs in the Taylor atrium for the first time, and it was a lovely sunlit space for the event.
We had a great turn-out with lots of interested people asking questions about the research each of the students did. It never fails to amaze me how much the students learn and accomplish during the 10 week program!