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Scholars Share Research At FVCC

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KALISPELL - About 100 students from the University of Montana, Flathead Valley Community College, and Whitefish High School shared their findings Friday.

It's the fifth year for the conference on student research at FVCC and the topics really run the gamut.

It all comes down to this. Christian Stratton is finishing up his degree in statistics at FVCC and he's been working on his presentation all semester. In fact for him, Friday is twice as stressful because he's doing two completely separate presentations: one on calculus and the scientific process, and another on geothermal energy. By now though, this is old-hat to him.

"I've just done one so far, but I've given mock presentations in class so that kind of puts your mind at rest and I had this conference last semester and I gave two presentations and I also went to Denver and gave two presentations, not the same presentations, but I have had quite a bit of practice," explained Christian.

About 100 students like Christian are sharing what they've learned. Stuff that you can't find in a textbook. Presentations cover everything from ethics and anatomy, to biology and chemistry. Christian is giving two oral presentations, but there's also a poster session where students can do a little show and tell in a less formal way.

"I thoroughly enjoy listening to new ideas, so just attending these-- it's so fun to hear what the students are thinking," said Dr. Ivan Lorentzen, the director of the Scholars Program at FVCC.

Both kinds of presentations are judged separately and a first, second, and third place is named for each. Last semester, Christian swept the board and brought home a blue ribbon.

This year, he's less interested in placing, and more interested in sharing what he's learned before he leaves FVCC for Montana State.

"I'm more interested in seeing the other presentations and getting to field those questions," said Christian.

It's not just the students talking through Friday. Part of the presentation includes a Q and A from the judges and the audience.

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