Students Share Independent Research at Annual Science Symposium

Millbrook’s annual Student Research Symposium was held on May 5th in the Frederic C. Hamilton Math & Science Center.

Presentations from seven students focused on topics including impacts of environmental complexity and prey variation in preying mantis strike rates, impact of physical activity and course load on quality and depth of sleep in adolescents, and effects of cell phone radiation on fruit flies.

For the students who chose to participate in Millbrook’s rigorous Independent Research course, the symposium offered the opportunity to share their findings and answer questions about the work they persued through the course of the academic year.

"The goal of this class is for students to conduct real and meaningful scientific research in a similar style as an undergraduate or graduate student," said Science Department Chair and Independent Research course instructor Ava Goodale '01. "The students in the class have taken our general and advanced science classes and are now able to apply those skills to their own research project."
Students began working on their research in September and used a variety of our campus resources to collect their data. Victor Lou '17, for example, turned the Trevor Zoo into his own personal laboratory for the breeding and monitoring of his preying mantis.

"I've always been passionate about preying mantis," says Lou '17, "and I was excited to be able to turn my hobby into a research project through this advanced research course."

Other students, like Valerie Tan '17, chose to devote their research to areas of curiosity that relate to their everyday lives. "I wanted to do something that was relevant to my life," says Tan '17, who researched the impact of cell phone radiation on fruit flies. "I think that cell phones and how they impact our health is very relevant since most of us use them daily."

"The student research projects are an expression of our science curriculum and the skills students develop through our courses. The Science Symposium is the grand finale of that experience, where students are able to present as real authorities on their research. It is a proud moment for our students and for the faculty who have been a part of their process," said Goodale '01.

Congratulations to the following students on the completion and presentation of their research:
  • Melanie Carr '17
  • Brenna Connolly '17
  • Jason Lei '17
  • Victor Lou '17
  • Olivia May '17
  • Valerie Tan '17
  • Si Wei '17
Learn more about our Independent Research course, Student Research Symposium, and student research on our website. You can also view photos in our online photo gallery.