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My Town: Hope College students to present creative and research projects on April 11 | Arts & Culture

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My Town: Hope College students to present creative and research projects on April 11
My Town: Hope College students to present creative and research projects on April 11

HOLLAND, Mich.– What does designing a tetrahedral robot,  the effect of Facebook on happiness and self-esteem, the effect of music tempo on cycling performance, and Louis XIV all have in common?

They're all original research topics by students of Hope College.

These research projects will be highlighted during the annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance at Hope College on Friday, April 11, from 2:30 p.m. to 5: 30 p.m. at the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse.The public is invited.  Admission is free.

The event will feature 234 projects by 352 Hope students, both independently and in collaboration with peers and faculty mentors. The students and their projects represent all of the college’s academic divisions: the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural and applied sciences. The presentations will feature posters illustrating the projects, and many of the students will be on hand to discuss their work. The displays will fill the basketball and volleyball courts and concourse of the fieldhouse.

The research and performance celebration, first presented in 2001, is designed to spotlight the quality and importance of student-faculty collaborative research at Hope, a teaching model used at the college for several decades.  Students throughout the college conduct original research and creative projects with faculty mentors during both the school year and summer.  The work includes more than 160 full-time students--from Hope and other institutions--in the natural and applied sciences division for eight to 10 weeks each summer.

Learning through research has been a teaching philosophy at the college for more than half a century.  The late Dr. Gerrit Van Zyl, who taught chemistry at the college from 1923 to 1964, is widely recognized for developing research-based learning at Hope in its modern sense.  More than 100 years ago, biologist Dr. Samuel O. Mast had designed research laboratory space for the college’s Van Raalte Hall, which opened in 1903.

Hope has received recognition in a variety of ways through the years for its success in teaching through collaborative faculty-student research, and for the high quality of the research itself.

Since the category debuted 12 years ago, the “America’s Best Colleges” guide published by “U.S. News and World Report” has included Hope on its listing of institutions that are exceptional for their emphasis on undergraduate research and creative projects.  Hope is one of only 39 institutions of all types, and one of only eight national liberal arts colleges, on the list in the 2013 edition.

In 1998, Hope was one of only 10 liberal arts institutions in the nation to be recognized for innovation and excellence in science instruction by the NSF with an “Award for the Integration of Research and Education” (AIRE), and in 1994 Project Kaleidoscope named the program in the natural applied sciences a “Whole Program That Works”--a model for other institutions to emulate.   Based on the college’s proven history of excellence, the Washington, D.C.-based Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) chose Hope to present the national webinar “Transformational Learning through Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance” in April 2011.

The fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., at Fairbanks Avenue between Ninth and 11th streets.