The Environmental Science Student Symposium is an annual event that exhibits the final project of students enrolled in Introduction to Environmental Science (ENR2100). ENR2100 is an introductory class for both science and non-science majors at The Ohio State University (OSU). Students who enroll in ENR2100 at OSU are given the opportunity to participate in a scientific poster session and experience the process of peer review during the annual Environmental Science Student Symposium (ES3). The symposium consists of hundreds of individual posters (e.g., the 2014 symposium had over 700 presentations) that our students design, construct and present to an audience of students and faculty. Posters focus on recent research that has been conducted in areas such as air pollution, biodiversity, climate change, coal, fresh water resources, food production, ecosystem preservation, energy production, evolution, fisheries, forestry, fossil fuels, mining, non-renewable energy, natural gas, nuclear power, petroleum, renewable energy, sustainability, urbanization, and water pollution.
We have four main learning objectives:
- Students learn how to find information and critically evaluate a topic, issues, results and conclusions.
- Students learn how scientific research is conducted and how results and conclusions are reported to the public so that people can make more informed decisions in their own lives.
- Students learn that the peer-review evaluation system is an integral part of the scientific process that enables scientists to maintain high standards of quality and provides credibility to research and scholarly works.
- Peer reviews teach students how to become better writers and speakers by focusing their attention on particular details and considering the input of an actual audience.