CBU students present their research at math and science symposium
Riverside, Calif. (Feb. 25, 2019) – Gur Parsad Singh Suri, a biology junior at California Baptist University, stood next to a large poster board filled with charts, figures and diagrams. He motioned back and forth from the poster to his audience, as he explained the different types of air pollution in the environment.
“I initially thought when you open up a window you get better air quality, but that is not always the case. Even when you open a window, you are letting dust inside, and that can build up over time,” Suri explained. “The research was taxing because every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we had to go out and do the measurements. And it was also awesome learning that there are things you can’t see or sense that can affect your health.”
Suri was one of the more than 40 presenters throughout the day at the 11th annual Natural and Mathematical Sciences Research Symposium that was held on Feb. 23 at CBU.
Dr. Lisa Hernandez, associate dean for the Division of Natural and Mathematical Sciences at CBU, said the goal of the symposium is to cultivate a culture of research.
“This event gives students an opportunity to participate in undergraduate research and to present it in a style that is professional,” Hernandez said.
Scientists and mathematicians need to know how to communicate their ideas effectively, Hernandez said. These professionals are constantly presenting at conferences, she added.
“All student researchers work closely with a faculty advisor,” said Hernandez, on how students’ work is added to the symposium. “One of our goals of the symposium is to give presentation opportunities to as many students as possible, so we are very encouraging even to the students who are just starting out in research.”
Ashley Lobos, an environmental science junior, presented research on the effects of plastics on the growth of lettuce.
Lobos said she enjoyed the practical experience she gained from her research.
“I enjoyed conducting hands-on research. I love plants, and it was a great experience to grow and then examine them,” Lobos said. “[Through the research] I learned that plastics are a big issue when it comes to affecting the food we eat. Plastics don’t completely biodegrade, it just gets broken down into small pieces. We can eventually consume plastic particles.”
Lobos said a take-away from her research was to find out more ways society can reduce its dependency on plastic products.
“I’m always blown away by what the students produce and the research that they’re doing. They produce some high-quality things and are thought-provoking and applicable and necessary,” Hernandez said.