Salt Lake Community College students showcased their semester projects Tuesday during the fourth annual School of Science, Mathematics and Engineering (SME) Symposium at Taylorsville Redwood Campus.
The Student Center was abuzz with poster sessions, demonstrations and oral presentations in both the Student Event Center and the Oak Room. The annual event gives students an opportunity to share their scientific studies, mathematic equations and engineering dreams.
The symposium lasted from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and included a dinner and awards ceremony at the end of the night. Guest speakers included former astronaut Kent Rominger and Stockton University biology professor Tara Luke.
Symposium participants Jon Larson and Jordan Anderson say they probably spent 100 hours on their project – an Etch-A-Sketch that doubles as a clock.
“It’s not an original idea but it sounded like fun,” Larson says.
They had brought their project to STEMCON, but it only lasted a day; the pair had to replace multiple Etch-a-Sketches because of heavy use.
“We went through a lot of Etch-a-Sketches,” Larson says.
The project came with other challenges — for example, programming the clock to run on a 12-hour format.
“The hardest part was figuring out the time,” Larson explains. “[After 12:59] it would just go to 13, 14, 15…”
Other participants worked on everything from geology to chemistry.
Some of the studies that were conducted by students measured pharmaceutical levels in the Jordan River and the ability to learn chemistry among young students.
Other projects on display included an analysis of fluoride and pH levels in Utah’s water, the construction of a generator and LED displays. One student came up with a mathematical equation to express the probability of getting a roll of die.
Students can visit the SME web page for future symposium dates and a list of previous winners.