At the end of week 12 of classes, it can seem as though the academic year will never end. Amid tests, quizzes, projects, papers and daily assignments, it often feels as though you will never see the fruit of your academic labors till you’ve walked across the stage with your diploma in hand. However, on Monday, April 4, Northwestern students and supervising faculty presented their work at the annual Celebration of Research. This year was especially notable as it featured a record number of presenters, 48 displays in total. From costume design to microplastics, NW students were able to express themselves and show off their hard work to the masses through trifolds and short speeches to start their week.
2022 marked the fifth year of the event. Though strolling through the RSC may seem like a quick and easy way to show off students’ research, this event couldn’t take place without the hard work of people like the DeWitt library director Greta Grond. Grond supervised and organized the event for the fourth consecutive year and has really enjoyed seeing what projects get submitted each year.
“NW students work on a wide variety of scholarly projects, and this is a chance where we as a community can take time to celebrate that work,” said Grond. “We want to give students the opportunity to share their discoveries and this format allows them to discuss their projects with others. I love seeing what topics students are passionate about, and to see the wide variety of posters on display.”
Junior Daniel Nordquist, supervised by Dr. Emily Grace, presented his project “Young’s Modulus: Building a Device to Measure Material Strength to Understand Interatomic Bond Stiffness.” His goal for the project was to construct an apparatus to find Young’s Modulus in various materials, something he didn’t have access to during his first year in Physics I.
“I wanted to build this because I’d read about Young’s Modulus in my textbooks, but we didn’t have anything in the lab to see this in action,” said Nordquist. “Hopefully I can give back to the physics department just a little with this project.”
In total, the project took two months to construct and will be used in future years for students taking Physics 1.
“It was a lot of work, but it was worth it,” said Nordquist. “It was cool to see what I’d been studying come to life in this project, as well as in the other projects I was a part of. I took a lot of pride in this and really enjoyed it. I hope to do more research like this in the future.”
This is the goal of the event: to let curious minds explore the world around them through the lens of respective disciplines.
In an attempt to show how Raiders stand out, the Celebration of Research not only displayed the hard work and persistence of NW’s student body, it also demonstrated the level of academic excellence the college holds itself to. Being held in the RSC helps to embody this sentiment. Among presenters were artists, athletes, volunteers and now future scholars. This building is home to classrooms, coach’s offices and plenty of hangout spaces. In meeting and listening to presentations, visitors not only were able to see the work of students but see the students as well-rounded Raiders who pursue excellence in all endeavors.