Learning Fair projects on display.

Undergraduate Learning Fair

Undergraduate Learning Fair

2017-2018 Undergraduate Learning Fair Dates 

Spring Learning Fair Thursday, April 26, 2018 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Library.

Students may enter the Undergraduate Research Category or the Class Project Category. Both categories will be judged and will be award first, second, and third place awards. The registration form below contains category descriptions.

*Students registering for the Judged Undergraduate Research category must submit an abstract when registering and must also attend a Presentation Preparation workshop prior to the Learning Fair.

Registration for Participation

Undergraduate Research registration deadline: March 30.
Class Project registration deadline: April 13.

Students are encouraged to attend the Learning Fair Presentation Preparation Workshop on April 9 during common hour in the Student Success Center for information on poster development, evaluation criteria, and presentation tips. Email mei112@psu.edu to sign up.

Take Your Presentation to the Next Level at the University Park Undergraduate Exhibition 
Participating in the Judged Undergraduate Research Category provides preparation and practice for participating in other undergraduate research exhibitions and conferences, such as "The 2018 Undergraduate Exhibition" at University Park on April 18, 2018.

Basic Author Guidelines for Student Research Project Abstract

Abstract Structure and Content

The abstract should consist of the following six sections:

  1. Main title
  2. Author's (student's) data:
      This section includes:
    • name (first name and last name)
    • major
    • email
             If there is more than one author, these data should be listed for each of them.
  3. Research Adviser's Name
      This section includes:
    • name (first name and last name)
    • title
    • email
  4. Keywords  
    • This is a common separated list of up to five words or expressions.
  5. Basic text
      The text should be up to 20 lines (about 260 words) including at least the following two paragraphs:
    • The research project description (formulation)
    • Results and personal contribution to the project.
  6. References
              This is a list of up to three titles. Bibliographical references should be numbered.
              When references are used in the basic text, enclose the citation number in square brackets, for example [1]. 

Sample Abstract

The First Three Rungs of The Cosmological Distance Ladder

Erica Debenedictis

Jeremy Steeger

Research Adviser: Dr. Agnes Kim
Assistant Professor of Physics

Keywords: astronomical telescopes, cosmology, distance measurement, Earth rotation, eclipses, laboratory techniques.

Abstract:  It is straightforward to determine the size of the Earth and the distance to the Moon without using a telescope. The methods have been known since the third century BCE. However, few astronomers have done this measurement from data they have taken. We use a gnomon to determine the latitude and longitude of South Bend, Indiana, and College Station, Texas, and determine the value of the radius of the Earth to be Rearth=6290 km, only 1.4% smaller than the known value. We use the method of Aristarchus and the size of the Earth's shadow during the lunar eclipse of June 15, 2011 to estimate the distance to the Moon to be 62.3Rearth, 3.3% greater than the known mean value. We use measurements of the angular motion of the Moon against the background stars over the course of two nights, using a simple cross staff device, to estimate the Moon's distance at perigee and apogee. We use simultaneous observations of asteroid 1996 HW1 obtained with small telescopes in Socorro, New Mexico, and Ojai, California, to obtain a value of the Astronomical Unit of (1.59+/-0.19)×108 km, about 6% too large. The data and methods presented here can easily become part of an introductory astronomy laboratory class.


[1] Krisciunas, K., “Determining the eccentricity of the Moon's orbit without a telescope.” 2010, American Journal of Physics, 78, 834
[2] Rowan-Robinson, M. The cosmological distance ladder: Distance and time in the universe.1985, New York, W.~H.~Freeman and Co, 1985, 364 p.