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science_symposium2The Pritzker Science Center opened its doors to the public on Friday, April 28, as students in advanced courses presented their projects in biology, physics, chemistry and environmental science in the annual Science Symposium.

“It’s a really great opportunity for the students to show how their years of study have come together in these culminating projects,” says science department chair Julie Seplaki. “It’s a chance for them to articulate their process and results. And it’s a lot of fun.”

Design your own (DYO) projects are an important part of the science curriculum, during which students develop their own experiments based on the work they’ve done in class and their personal interests. The students work independently on their experiments for three to five weeks, and then present them with posters in the Pritzker lobby.

This year’s projects included evaluating the effects of pH on bacterial viruses; analyzing a student’s and her family’s DNA for a “bitter taste” gene; using mtDNA to learn more about Milton’s diversity; studying the effects of copper and magnesium on plant growth; studying the effects of capsaicin on flatworms (planaria); zebrafish tail regeneration; investigation of Young’s double-slit experiment; a model of a Faraday train; visualizing sound in a Rubens’ tube; and determining the ratio of charge/mass of an electron.