Undergraduate Research Conference to Showcase Student Work

Think changing your car battery is a hassle? Try replacing a battery attached to the International Space Station.

That's just one project students will discuss at the 21st annual Undergraduate Student Research and Creative Accomplishment Conference at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, on April 14. The sessions, which are free and open to the public, begin at 8 a.m. in Roche Hall and the Witkowski Building classrooms.

Three students at Penn State Behrend are developing a new battery for the microsatellite that provides amateur-radio access to the International Space Station. They will present their work during the conference, which is sponsored by Penn State Behrend and the Northwest Pennsylvania Chapter of Sigma Xi, an international, multidisciplinary research society.

More than 250 students from 12 colleges and universities will present research at the conference. Other topics include the use of room-navigating robots to fight house fires, the conditions that make cyber-bullying more traumatic than face-to-face bullying and the damage that downy mildew causes to Erie County grape vineyards.

The participating students represent Penn State Behrend, Allegheny College, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Gannon University, Mercyhurst University, Kutztown University, Westminster College, Thiel College, Penn State Harrisburg, Penn State Schuylkill, Penn State York and the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Penn State Behrend provides nearly $250,000 each year to support undergraduate research by its students. In addition to the conference, a signature event, the college provides research and travel grants and summer research fellowships.