Research Day Helps High School Students Understand the Potential of Science

Release Date: 
Apr 20 2012

Ben DavisAlbie Witz circled the poster displays several times at the annual IUPUI Research Day to ensure he had a grasp on the nature of the experiments conducted by current School of Science students.

“It’s a little strange,” the Ben Davis High School junior remarked as he glanced over his shoulder toward a poster detailing a complex molecular splitting process.

“This seems to be sort of graduate-level work that some of these students are doing here. I’m impressed that a few people I’ve seen aren’t much older than I am,” he added.

Witz was among 40 Ben Davis students who visited Research Day on April 13 and toured the School of Science classrooms and laboratories. The students were hand-selected by school staff for their ability and interest in mathematics and physical sciences. Some said they were excited to see what Science had to offer. Others simply wanted a firsthand account at what college independence looked like. 

“It’s really cool to see exactly what college students are doing and learning. I like how this event and the tour and everything were put together. It’s interesting,” said junior Stephon Gilder. 

Graduating Ben Davis senior Samira Abdoulaye looked on a little more intently than her younger schoolmates. She stood in the back of the crowd, eyes wide to absorb what soon will become very familiar to her. She starts in August as a freshman School of Science student studying biology. 

“The information I’ve been getting here is really good,” said Abdoulaye, whose mother is a doctor formerly of Niger, Africa.

“High school to college is a big step for a lot of students,” she added “and I’m glad I had this opportunity to check things out a little more.”

She said she chose IUPUI because of its good science program. The downtown campus also will allow her to be close to her family, although she hopes to live on campus and “enjoy my independence.” 

Ben DavisResearch Day provided the Ben Davis students, as well as those from other local high schools, a great opportunity to better understand how critical research is to the IUPUI mission.  The students also heard a presentation on the value of science from Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy, assistant director of the National Science Foundation. 

The Ben Davis students visited the on-campus greenhouse and biology labs, where current students fielded questions about work and research opportunities for freshman. The also talked to Science students exploring the regeneration of limbs in frogs, a precursor to some day understanding regeneration possibilities for people.


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