Research videos by Class of 2018 students explaining their work in the Integrated Concentration in Science (iCons) Program are online for public viewing at https://icons.cns.umass.edu/showcase
The interactive gallery includes most of the videos by the current seniors (some videos are not public because of the proprietary nature of the research) as well as videos from previous years’ students.
During their senior year, iCons scholars apply the skills they have developed in problem solving, leadership and communication throughout the program by addressing real-world problems through authentic scientific research in faculty laboratories.
Looking at the effect of urbanization on the reproductive success of birds, improving breast cancer risk assessment, and cooling solar panels to increase efficiency – these are just a few of the real-world challenges that students are tackling.
But in addition to independent lab-based research projects, the seniors take on an enduring challenge shared among all scientific disciplines: Communicating about research to non-technical audiences.
Each student was tasked with presenting their project in terms of the overarching societal problem it addressed, the specific scientific problem it addressed, and the ultimate solution they hope it offers.
The students worked on small production teams with their peers to shoot and edit their videos using the resources in the Digital Media Laboratory in W.E.B. Dubois Library. Taking a step back to reflect and distill complex topics for public consumption reinforces the importance of considering the societal impact of scientific research.