Aperion showcases of students’ projects

Aperion showcases of students' projects

On April 20, Apeiron sought to exemplify its slogan “Know no limits, transcend all boundaries.” Apeiron provides students a showcase of their research, scholarship and creative activities in a setting similar to a professional meeting.

Shaun Schmidt, the chair of Apeiron committee, who is also a faculty member of the chemistry department, pointed out the importance of presentation by taking chemistry class, for example.

“In chemistry, the students learn about it in the classes, but they don’t start doing chemistry until they do research,” said Schmidt. “In part of doing research is communicating these results. They need to do that.”

Schmidt said the quality of students’ presentations was outstanding.

“These are students that are going well beyond what happened in the classroom,” said Schmidt.

Apeiron had a fine arts performance session, an oral presentation session, a last lecture and a poster session this year.

In the fine arts performance session,  “Nowhere Bound” written by Ashley M. Vaughan, “Driving” written by Elise Nicole Barnett and “The Spirit of Hope” written by Arissa L. Utemark were performed in Carole Chapel.

Barnett, a junior English majored, said it was tough to get “Driving” done. It was the first dramatic piece that Barnett had written, and it took her four months to write the story.

“Once I got it done and had the characters set up, it was such an easy process, and it went pretty fast,” said Barnett.

Barnett hoped to develop this piece into a production-ready drama through the insight and feedback gained by a dramatic reading.

Apeiron also had 28 oral presentations and 31 posters this year. The presentation “Abstinence-only Education: What impact does it have on teen pregnancy rates?” by Robert J. Pilgrim got a large audience.

Pilgrim analyzed that abstinence-only funding was not only a negative statistical significance variable impacting teen pregnancy rates, but it actually had a negative impact on STI and STD rates for this groups, as well.

“It was a very interesting lecture, and I would definitely be interested in hearing more about it,” said Amanda Richards, a junior sociology and anthropology major. “I can’t say I am especially surprised by the results, but I definitely think it is something that needs to be looked into at greater detail. The results eventually were made public and brought to the awareness of people who are in charge of that type of funding.”

The Apeiron is an ancient term offered by Anaximander of Miletus in the 6th Century B.C. that embraces the spirit of this forum. Apeiron actually started back in 1996 as two faculties had this idea of doing a student research poster section. They had a total of 13 presentations by 19 students in 1997. It kept going for a few years and became known as a student research forum. In 2002, there were finally some fine arts sessions added. They didn’t get the name Apeiron until 2003.

From 1996, there have been 287 oral/fine arts presentations and 596 poster presentations, which are totally 880 presentations by more than 1100 students.

Schmidt said it was the next natural step the students need to take, in terms they become professional and learning to present in a professional way.

This sentiment is exemplified in the slogan for the event “know no limits, transcend all boundaries.”

“Because the student will do that no matter what they do after they leave here, whether it is a company, a graduate school or a professional school, they will need to be able to communicate,” said Schmidt. “Apeiron gives them that opportunity, and also gives them opportunity to celebrate their great work.”