RDP Research Showcase Explores 21 Unique Projects – LacombeOnline.com

On March 3, Red Deer Polytechnic proudly presented the institution’s first annual Research Showcase, showcasing recently completed and ongoing research and scholarly activities undertaken by students, faculty, and staff. The online event was designed to mirror a conference, with a variety of sessions and a panel discussion allowing attendees to learn about projects and engage with researchers. In all showcase activities, the breadth of research opportunities at École Polytechnique was evident.

“The Research Showcase gave us the opportunity to collectively celebrate and share the scholarly activity that takes place at Red Deer Polytechnic,” said Dr. Maureen Toews, Associate Vice President, Teaching, Learning and research. “Presenting research projects in this type of showcase format has really highlighted not only the breadth of activities undertaken at our institution, but also the depth of analysis in which researchers – be they students, professors or staff members – engage throughout their projects.

At the Research Showcase, 36 researchers shared details of their projects in 21 lightning talks and panel discussions presented throughout the evening. Research topics covered ranged from the use of plasmonic nanotechnology in medicine to a case study of MicroSociety students to understanding creativity and its impact on well-being.

Kira Weddell is enrolled in the Bachelor of Science at École Polytechnique, with a specialization in biological sciences. She presented at the Research Showcase on the subject of bats in central Alberta.

“Having the opportunity to gain research experience that directly applies to the field of study I am pursuing is very motivating and has inspired me to seek out similar opportunities,” says Weddell. “Gaining real-world, applicable experience through this opportunity has helped prepare me for my future experimental projects and allowed me to see the complexity and importance of doing research.”

Weddell is grateful for the collaboration she established with her teacher, Dr. Sally Stuart, in this applied research project.

“This research is a unique opportunity for me as a faculty member, as well as for Kira and the City of Red Deer, to work together,” says Dr. Stuart, biology instructor. “I find that students, like Kira, bring new ideas to solve problems and, above all, bring their enthusiasm. Students gain valuable research skills using state-of-the-art field recorders, software skills to analyze data, and programming skills for statistical analysis. Science literacy is more important than ever right now, which is why a component of every research project is science communication and learning to present information to the public in a clear and concise way.

The research projects presented at the Showcase demonstrate the complexity of the research undertaken at Red Deer Polytechnic, but such research is often an unknown aspect of the institution’s offerings.

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