October 23, 2020 | 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Student poster information
Guidelines for posters
Important datesFriday, October 23, 12:30-3:30 p.m.—Exposition
Friday & Saturday, November 6 and 7—West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Conference at Van Andel Institute
Each year the Science Division hosts a research exposition designed to acquaint the Calvin community and the general public with the research activities of students within the Division. Students prepare posters that describe their research and the posters are historically displayed in the Atrium of DeVries Hall, but it was held virtually this year from 12:30-3:30 p.m. on Friday the 23th of October on Teams.
The Research Fair’s purpose is threefold:
- to give students a forum for presenting and informally describing their research
- to provide students with practice opportunities for presentation activities at scientific or other meetings
- to acquaint people unfamiliar with the Science Division with the diversity and depth of research performed within the Division
The Calvin community and visitors are invited to attend the Research Fair. This audience consists of:
- all Calvin students, not just those in the Science Division
- parents and family members
- faculty, staff, administrators
- visitors and friends of Calvin College
Note that this audience is a general audience which most likely lacks the training to understand a particular scientific discipline in depth. Therefore, you should consider this audience in planning your poster and be ready to explain your work in very general terms to be understandable by a college-educated layperson.
- Design your poster presentation. You should discuss format, content, and effective presentation techniques with your professor. As you plan, remember that:
- the poster’s most important purpose is to communicate your project and results to as broad an audience as possible
- the poster is not intended to be an exhaustive list of your research activities. Rather, it is intended to provide an introduction and overview of the problem, the results, and the application.
- your poster should appear as a single cohesive document. Avoid using a compilation of individual slides.
- bulleted lists, reduced wording, and pictures facilitate easy reading and good comprehension. Pictures can show process and context
- if possible, think about how to make your poster interactive. Introduce the topic broadly – the general appeal is likely to quickly engage a reader. Could you ask some questions to stimulate interest? Could you ask the reader to make choices to predict outcome?
- Your poster minimally should include the following information:
- the problem you were trying to solve
- why that problem or topic is important, or how it’s relevant to something the general audience can understand
- what you did to solve the problem or explore the phenomenon
- your results
- how your results relate to the problem, i.e., what’s the “take home” message
Sometimes posters have rather formal sections, i.e., Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgements. However, these sections might not be the best for your particular poster. Remember, you need to communicate as if you were talking to a non-science major.