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Caffeine Consumption, Chickadee Food, and Couch-motes Among 46 Projects at Clarkson University Undergraduate Research Symposium

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Black-capped Chickadee food preferences, caffeine consumption and sleep patterns among college students, and the couch-mote sofa covering are among 46 research projects being presented at the 12th annual Clarkson University Symposium on Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE).

Fifty-six students will make presentations on a wide variety of exciting topics on Friday, April 9, in Clarkson University’s Bertrand H. Snell Hall on the hill campus. Students will make presentations from 8:30-2 p.m. and all of them will display posters explaining their projects 2-4:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.sure-event

Other research investigated by Clarkson undergrads includes sex differences in risk attitudes and victimization rates, the average gait speed in three rural upstate New York communities, sustainable year-round food production in cold climates, a digital redesign of the Potsdam Public Library, distribution of the golden-winged warbler in northern New York, the Jurassic campus, the physics and engineering of skateboarding’s Megaramp, the development of a vertical axis wind-turbine-powered water heater musical dots, and many other topics.

Mary Larrousse and Jesse Woodward’s couch-mote is a covering for a sofa, which powers a TV on and off and changes the channel and volume. The couch-mote is designed to force users to agree on a goal and work together to obtain it. Two users are needed to turn the TV on, and two users must be present to fully operate the controls.

Frances More says that there is very little information on the type of food choices chickadees make. Utilizing video, her research determined the types of food black-capped chickadees prefer, especially in the presence of other birds and in areas where there are occasional human disturbances.

Robyn Baumgartner’s project on the average gait speed in three rural upstate New York communities determined the community walking speed requirements in Potsdam, Canton, and Massena. Physical therapists and other health care professionals can use these results for goal setting and to determine when patients may be able to safely walk in their communities.

Daniel Weiner’s research on the development of a vertical axis wind turbine powered water heater uses a churn device powered by a wind turbine in order to heat water. One of his goals is to determine if this is more efficient than converting wind to electricity before heating the water. Xiao Chen’s project examines the relationship between the quality and quantity of sleep and the total amounts of caffeine consumed among college students.

Meet with the students and see all 46 projects on April 9 at Clarkson University.

The symposium was established as a forum for undergraduate students to present the results of their scholarly experiences. The program’s goal is to recognize and encourage students who are actively participating in various research and projects. They also hope that SURE will help to fulfill the "Vision of Clarkson Education" by enhancing students’ excellence in oral and written communication.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Students display posters and speak to guests at a past Symposium on Undergraduate Research Experiences at Clarkson University.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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