Dear High School Science Teacher:

We invite you and your students to participate in our 2014 BEST (Building Excellence in Science & Technology) Early Research Symposium to be held on Friday, April 25, 2014 at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI. This year’s theme is Imagine Different. You can read more about our annual event at: http://www.bestearly.com/resym

We are expanding this years’ event to include (a) students beyond Berrien County Math Science Center (http://www.berrienresa.org/bcmsc/), and (b) posters covering original research projects in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This represents a unique opportunity for high school students to display their research findings in a university setting that also includes the general public.

If you and your students are interested in attending and/or presenting at the BEST Early Research Symposium, please respond and indicate so as soon as possible. Further guidelines and clarification will be provided upon response to this invitation. As usual, this event will be covered by the media, including in the Benton-Michiana Spirit Community Newspaper Early Research Special Issue attached below.

In addition to displaying your students research posters, this event can be viewed as a field trip opportunity for others at your high school to attend a science symposium locally and be exposed to modern laboratories and instruments in a college setting. We hope you can incorporate this into your curriculum as a learning opportunity for your students.

The BEST Early approach to science education in the classroom has been developed for over 15 years and also provides summer science job opportunities for high school and college students. Follow-up surveys of participating students indicate that this was the first hands-on independent lab research experience for over 85% of students. Also, 89% felt the experience was positive and important, and 76% indicated greater interest in research.

Videos involving past BEST Early students engaged in curricular and non-curricular research can be viewed on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3gQU6pUQSI&list=PL71B84D82DDC70BFF and http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLApQC7VKzBW01CCSCabudvLdapT9GoSz0.

Please indicate your willingness to participate by contacting Dr. Desmond Murray at (269) 757-1641 and/or via email at murrayd@andrews.edu. Professional development workshops about engaging high school students in research are also available upon request from BEST Early.


Desmond Murray

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Andrews University & Berrien RESA Math Science Center

Founding Director, Building Excellence in Science & Technology