Page 6 - FIS World Feb 2019
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 Science in the Spotlight
An event at FIS highlights knowledge and innovation
 Upper School students present their research during an open poster session
(top); FIS parent and Board member, Dr. James Beaty, delivers a keynote presentation,
“Revolutionizing Prosthetics”
Last November the FIS Upper School Science Department hosted its first-ever FIS Science Symposium – and what an event it was.
After almost a year of grinding away at International Baccalaureate (IB) Internal Assessment (IA) and Extended Essay (EE) independent research projects, some of our school’s best and brightest had the opportunity to share their hard work and brilliance. Fifteen students presented their research in a poster session – a format widely used in the scientific field – impressively responding to the intrigue and fueling the buzz from those in attendance. Poster session topics ranged from work with our new 3D microscope to a physics exploration into helicopter blade efficiency. “Sharing our research and being able to present our creative ideas in this unique format, not just purely for academic purposes, was a rare and amazing opportunity,” said Grade 12 student, Reka.
After about an hour of setting the stage, more than 100 poster presenters and interested attendees came together inside the auditorium for a more formal presentation that included research findings from a Group 4 Project on benthic macro-invertebrates in the Urselbach, the stream that runs through campus. The Group 4 Project is a requirement for all IB Science students, in which they participate as part of a multidisciplinary team to study a particular scientific topic.
Symposium attendees then heard from two Grade 12 students, Reka, who presented on
mitochondrial size in brain cells, and Vanessa, who shared information from her elective project on
Galapagos tortoises. “Standing on the stage speaking in front of a larger audience made me feel honored and proud of my work at the same time,” said Reka.
To round out the evening, our very own FIS parent and Board member, Dr. James Beaty, wowed audience members in a presentation of his collaborative work in “Revolutionizing Prosthetics.” Attendees not only learned about the 3,000-year history of prosthetics that has led to the high-tech robotic arms of the present, but also how engineers, neurologists, artists and others are collaborating to design life-like arms that can be controlled by the user’s own brain.
It was fascinating insight into the world of prosthetic advancements and its evolution, and students as well as other participants got to see what science and teamwork really looks like.
Dr. Beaty was kind enough to also host a question and answer session that really put the icing on the cake.
“All in all, the evening was a huge success and definitely acted as an expansion and greater recognition of the scientific community here at FIS,“ said Reka. An outside observer was quoted as saying, “I can’t believe how smart all of the questions were.”
I can’t think of a better compliment to underscore the wealth of intellectualism we have within our community.
Christopher Neumann
FIS Upper School Science Teacher
4 FIS World February 2019

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