Learning Outside the Classroom at the URSA Conference

By Therese Porod

Applications are now available until Friday, March 15th to students for the third annual Undergraduate Research Scholarship & Arts (URSA) Conference on April 2nd.

The conference will take place in Krasa from 12:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Participants can either work individually or in groups.

Students must fill out an application, have a faculty member as a mentor, and submit an abstract. The applications have been sent to all BenU student email accounts and will remain available until this Friday, March 15th.

After completing their research project, students will receive immediate feedback that night from faculty members and educators on their project, explained Thomas Wangler, Professor of Mathematics and Assistant to the Provost for Academic Assessment.

The URSA Conference began in the Spring of 2011, according to Wangler. Last year, a total of 55 students participated. There were 33 student presenters, and 22 students created posters.

“I think it’s educationally beneficial. It’s learning beyond the classroom in a short and concise way while getting immediate feedback,” stated Wangler.

Wangler explained that the URSA Conference prepares students for the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area (ACCA) Symposium, which follows shortly after on April 13th at Elmhurst College.