Penn State Hazleton takes undergraduate research fair virtual

Penn State Hazleton research fair winners

Winners from last year's undergraduate research fair. This year, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, Penn State Hazleton is taking the event virtual.

Credit: Penn State

HAZLETON, Pa. – Penn State Hazleton is giving students an outlet to showcase their skills during the COVID-19 crisis by taking its annual Undergraduate Research Fair virtual.

The virtual fair will be held through Canvas from Monday, April 20 to Thursday, April 23, and is open to any Penn State Hazleton students who want to present their research work.

“Our change to a virtual undergraduate research fair aligns with Gov. Wolf’s stay-at-home order and reduces COVID-19 risks to students, spectators, faculty mentors and judges who want to attend,” said Dr. Ellen Raineri, assistant teaching professor of business and chair of this year’s event. “We want to do what we can to support our campus’ health and our students’ scholarship.”

The shift to a virtual fair also ensures students can still get the valuable experience of applying their critical-thinking, analysis, creativity and writing skills, Dr. Raineri added.

"Research is very important for our students and having this fair as an outlet for them is extremely beneficial," she said.

Undergraduate students interested in participating must register for the fair by noon on Sunday, April 19. The categories are Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

This year, the project evaluation will be conducted only with posters. However, there will be an option to record an oral presentation.

For each poster, a thread in the “discussions” section of the Canvas course will be created. It will include the title, authors, abstract and references. There, students will have tasks they must complete while other tasks will be optional:

  • All students must post a reply and upload their poster file by 9 p.m. on Monday, April 20. Throughout the research fair, they are encouraged to communicate with other participants on their discussion thread.
  • Students can hold a live Zoom session on Thursday, April 23 from 12:20-1:10 p.m., just as if they were standing in front of their posters. If they want to do so, students must post a reply that includes a link to their Zoom meeting.
  • Students can also record a presentation in Zoom on their own time and make this recording available on Canvas. Students must then post a reply that includes a link to their Zoom recording.

Awards will be announced via email on Friday, April 24.

Additionally, students can elect to compete for the Mary M. and Bertil E. Lofstrom Library’s Information Literacy award. Students interested in competing should produce a separate electronic document that they will post within Canvas. The document should include a list of references and a brief explanation of how each reference supported the work.

The posters will be judged by volunteers from the staff and faculty at Penn State Hazleton. To volunteer as a judge for the virtual research symposium, contact Dr. Yusuke Hayashi ([email protected]).

For questions about the research fair, contact Dr. Ellen Raineri ([email protected])