ULRM students present final projects

Kris Long, Sports Editor

Students from the University Level Research Mentorship class and students involved in independent research projects presented their work to mentors and family Thursday night. Seniors Mia Thompson and Koen Arthaud Day, as well as junior Ava Chae and sophomore Julius Neumann, were involved in research this year.

While the 2019-20 school year the class started with 16 researchers, this year only had two in the class, Thompson and Arthaud-Day, and two independent researchers, Chae and Neumann. 

“I think it is just the nature of the class of ‘21,” URLM teacher Janet Hanson said. “Next year we’ll have six I think that that’s an optimal number for this kind of work.”

The two seniors made up the third class since the program started and were heavily impacted by COVID-19. While Arthaud-Day was able to do his virtually, Thompson’s cancer research required physically being in a lab.

“My biggest challenge was definitely not being able to go into a lab, especially for the first semester,” Thompson said. “Second semester I was able to visit at certain times under specific COVID guidelines, but that was definitely hard the first semester, not being able to actually see the professor and see the equipment and see exactly what I was going to be doing.”

The research crossed disciplines, with Neumann’s project focusing on astrophysics, Chae’s on Economics, Arthaud-Day’s on anthropology and Thompsons on cancer cell research. While there is more research possible in scientific fields, students have been steadily expanding into the social sciences and other departments.

“The one thing that I am really encouraged about is that our students are beginning to understand that research is not just a background in science, chemistry and biology and physics,” Hanson said. “We have political science research going on. We have linguistics research going on, and we have sociology research going on. I’m waiting for fine arts and music research.”

The six students entering next year’s program include juniors Ben Mosier, Sam DeLong, Chae, Carly Yi, Ashi Wickramasundra and Eszter Chikan.