Annual Meeting and Competition

2011

The 2011 NC Student Academy of Science Annual Meeting and State Competition was held Friday, March 25th. The keynote presentation was by Dr. Erich Jarvis, Associate Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the Duke University Medical Center.  Dr. Jarvis gave a highly informative and engaging lecture on the neurobiology and evolution of vocal communication.  For the 152 student researchers, their sponsors and families, it was an extraordinary opportunity to hear about developments in one of the most rapidly growing and fascinating fields of science.  There is more information available about Dr. Jarvis and his research at http://www.jarvislab.net/

The students made 102 presentations of their research, and there were another 20 posters in a poster competition, which was a new addition to the State Competition this year.  First, second and third place in each category were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals, respectively. First place winners additionally received an invitation to travel expenses-paid to present their research at the American Junior Academy of Science meeting at Vancouver British Columbia February, 2012. Other awards included U.S. Navy awards and recognition by the state chapter of the American Chemical Society and the Stockholm Junior Water Prize Competition.  In addition, the Charles Lytle Scholarship was presented to LaManuel White.  All presenting students received the new conference tee shirt, designed by Mr. Juan Scivally, Art Instructor at NCSSM.  In addition to the presenters, more than 20 middle and high school students attended as observers.  We expect to see most of them back next year as presenters.

The competition was judged by 47 active and retired professionals from state agencies, educational institutions, and businesses in the Triangle. Students were given the chance to meet with the judges over dinner after the competition to get additional feedback about their projects and learn about the science interests of the judges. Two teachers were recognized with NCSAS Teacher Recognition Awards: Courtney Blake of Durham Hillside High School and Gwendolyn Gibbs of Frink Middle School in Kinston, NC.

Elections were held to choose student officers for 2011-12.  2010-11 High School President-elect Isabella Gillespie becomes President.  Emma Cassell was chosen as High School President-elect, and the new Middle School President is Anne Blythe Davis.