I ask about the hardest thing they had to do here, and the students tell me about Spring Showcase.  For environmental science, you had to come up with your own experiment, and you have mentors from off-campus, (one student said her mentor was an aquarium scientist), and it runs out over three months, and you present all your findings and research to the public at a big open house in three media: powerpoint, poster board, and essay form, an essay of 4-12 pages.   The outside public attends the open house, making it truly a public demonstration.   The labs also participate in a competition of showcases judged by a panel of outside experts, with scholarship rewards.  They speak about showcase with a very positive affect– it is not a drudgery, clearly, but it is a challenge.

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