It is the second time that the College of Science and Engineering hosts the competition. The competition, which originated in the University of Queensland, encourages and challenges graduate students to present their research and its importance in a three minute thesis presentation.
Andria Beal, one of the finalists, decided to participate because of the opportunities and challenges of the competition.
“I decided to participate in this competition because it was not only a chance for me to tell the public about what I do and why it is important, [but] it also challenged me to be able to put my work into terms that the general public could understand,” Beal wrote in an email.
The competition also allows participants to improve or gain new skills.
“Most scientists love to talk, and I’m not an exception,” finalist Josh Donor wrote in an email. “The exercise of cramming everything I’ve done over the last year into a three minute speech, that actually had to mean something, to someone who perhaps has never seen a star cluster before, definitely improved my ability to communicate my research.”
Senior associate dean Magnus Rittby said it is hard to condense so much information into a three minute speech.
“It’s a lot to cover in three minutes [and] to do it really well,” Rittby said.
Rittby said the competition is very difficult, and he is proud of all the students who are trying it.
Contestants will be judged based on how well they communicate their research and how engaged they are with the audience.
Prizes will be awarded to the first prize winner, runner up and people’s choice.
The final competition will be held at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History on Saturday, Nov. 7.
Having the competition outside of school was a chance to “bring our students to the museum and give them an opportunity to perhaps meet or present in front of an actual lay audience,” Rittby said.
“I’m also looking forward to a larger audience! Like I said, scientists love to talk,” Donor wrote.