From human-powered bicycle generators to salamander territorial behavior, this year’s CNAS Undergraduate Research Day is guaranteed to be a fascinating experience.
The celebration of student research will begin on Friday, April 28 at 1 p.m. Students from departments across the College of Natural and Applied Sciences and the cooperative engineering program will present their abstracts and posters from 1-3 p.m.
After the student presentations, Dr. Nick Gerasimchuck, professor of chemistry, will speak to attendees before the awards ceremony. Each department will then award prizes for first ($100) and second place ($50).
Over 60 students presented during last year’s event, resulting in over $1,000 in prizes. All current CNAS students are invited to attend.
Some of the student research will include:
Human-powered bicycle generator
Electrical engineering students Jeremiah Fox, Freeman Lee and Andrew Campbell wanted to find a way to get younger generations interested in electrical engineering. To do that, they needed to design a simple system that would be easy to explain.
Enter the human-powered bicycle generator.
Similar to a power grid, the kinetic force applied to the bicycle’s pedals transfers to an induction motor, which acts as a generator. Additionally, the bicycle features metering information that allows the use to calculate the power they are producing in real time.
When territorial salamanders cheat
Salamander neighbors aren’t always the best of friends. Once territory boundaries are established, however, the “dear enemy” hypothesis states that salamanders will show reduced aggression toward one another.
But what happens when a neighbor “cheats” and crosses those territorial lines?
This is the question Kenzie Medley, a biology student, wanted to answer. Through using mirrors to simulate both cheating and cooperating neighbors, Medley’s research revealed that salamanders were significantly more aggressive toward cheating neighbors.
Identifying variables related to domestic violence
Geography, geology and planning students Tim Datema and Michael Ruether understand that domestic violence is a complex problem in today’s society. In an effort to identify potential trends in domestic violence crimes, their research sought to evaluate how different variables affect the frequency of domestic violence in Missouri.
Through combining their own data with data from 15 other studies, Datema and Ruether’s research focuses specifically on the level of urbanization, the presence of domestic violence shelters and the strength of local law enforcement.
Their research will provide a basis for future analysis of domestic violence, its causes and prevention initiatives.
For more information, contact Dr. Tamera Jahnke, dean of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences, at 417-836-5249.