By Melissa Prentice
Arizona Daily Wildcat
A large circus tent on the UA Mall filled with a string quartet, a rocket-firing demonstration, a portable weather station and a ballet performance hardly fits the image of a traditional research fair.
The second annual Student Showcase will be presented by the Graduate and Professional Student Council on the Mall Nov. 5, during Homecoming Weekend.
"The general public has very little idea what goes on at a research university besides teaching," said Bill Bottke, one of three co-directors of the Student Showcase. "The Showcase is an opportunity for the community to see the neat things students are doing and the atmosphere of the Showcase is fun; we don't want it to be stale."
"The Showcase is not just a science fair," said Susan Hall, a co-director. "Students can enter any research project they have independently worked on. They could enter a science project but could also perform a dance or present an art project."
Entries are divided into eight categories including visual and performing arts; humanities, literature and language; social sciences and education; mathematics and physical sciences; engineering and agriculture; business administration, law and economics; biological and health sciences; and other.
At least $7,000 in prize money will be divided among best-of-show winners and first place winners in the eight categories, said Carey Cramer, an event co-director.
Exhibits will be judged on quality of presentation, academic merit and demonstration of the work's value to the public, organizers said.
Undergraduates, as well as graduate students, are encouraged to participate, Cramer said. About one-third of the 90 students who participated last year were undergraduates.
The organizers said they hope to include half graduate and half undergraduate students this year.
"The research projects that undergraduates are working on on campus are comparable to what graduate students are doing," Bottke said.
Graduate and undergraduate projects will be judged separately, he said.
Organizers said they hope to include 150 to 200 student exhibits this year.
Students who wish to participate should mail an entry form and a one-page summary of their project to the GPSC by Oct. 12.
Application fliers are available at the ASUA office and from all faculty members, and will be mailed to all UA students.
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