MSU to host Crossroads of Discovery event to showcase undergraduate research and creative projects
BOZEMAN – The diverse array of ongoing undergraduate research at Montana State University will be on display Oct. 26 at Crossroads of Discovery, an event of the university’s ongoing Year of Undergraduate Research.
Crossroads of Discovery is an open house showcasing research and creativity from all MSU colleges. The event will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the MSU Library with free food and music performed by MSU students. The showcase is free and open to the public.
More than 50 student exhibitions will be on display on the second floor of the library as well as in Art and Engineering hubs that will house exhibitions too large to fit in the library. The Art hub will showcase the gallery exhibit “From Ideas to Action: Research in the College of Arts and Architecture” and the maker space will be open for people to tour in the Engineering hub. Student volunteers will escort attendees to those buildings for viewings.
Crossroads of Discovery is one of several events taking place this year as part of MSU’s Year of Undergraduate Research, which highlights research opportunities for students in all disciplines. The goal of the showcase is to make research comprehensible and engaging to the community, said Ryan Anderson, a co-chair for the showcase.
“The purpose is to have people get a sense of what happens on campus and start to see beyond the technical research and see what our undergraduates are able to accomplish,” said Anderson. “This is a way to show the value and impact of research.”
Students from an array of disciplines, from mechanical engineering to history, biochemistry and photography, will be represented at the showcase. Anderson said organizers sought to represent the diversity of work students create at MSU. Exhibits will include one on mapping and researching the Springhill Cemetery in Bozeman; a photographic project on blue collar workers in the Bozeman area; a study looking at the impact of bison versus cattle on Rocky Mountain juniper; and a study examining the process of composing a symphony.
The event is science-fair style. Attendees are encouraged to wander freely to each exhibit and interact with it, as well as talk with the student or group. Suzi Taylor, Crossroads of Discovery co-chair, said students were encouraged to think outside of the box for their presentations and to think of new ways to communicate their research. For instance, one group of students will use virtual reality in their exhibition, another group will use a touch screen map and other students will bring in their lab equipment.
“Encouraging them to do something cool and interesting makes their exhibits very interactive and will allow people to really understand what they’re working on,” Taylor said.
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- By MSU News Service-