Student Research Symposium

Assessment Form


The Illinois Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers is pleased to announce an awards program as part of a Student Research Symposium for high school and undergraduate attendees of Illinois Section AAPT spring meetings. This program will serve to recognize and promote both high school and undergraduate student research in physics and physics teaching.


High school and undergraduate students who are: 1) currently engaged in physics research as defined below, 2) working under the direction of a faculty advisor, 3) officially registered for the ISAAPT meeting which they are attending, and 4) registered competitors in the research symposium are eligible for participation in the awards program. The student(s) should have a substantive understanding of and/or involvement in the conception, methodology, and analysis components of the research. The research project does not have to be complete at the time of presentation. Registration for the competition will be indicated by checking the appropriate box on the paper submission form.

Research defined

For the purpose of this awards program, research will defined as "a formal procedure which contributes to the expansion of basic knowledge, or applies such knowledge to the solutions of problems in society, or exemplifies creative expression in a specific field of study." Examples of such research would be: research projects for independent study, research projects done on a group basis, or research projects done to fulfill requirements of an honors or mentorship program. Topics may be theoretical, experimental, or educational in nature.


There will be only one presentation category. Scientific and education presentations, be they individual or group, will be treated on an equal basis. Mentors may not participate in registered presentations.

Presentation guidelines

All presentations should include the following essential elements:

Analysis of data


Judging will be based on scholarship, methodology, oral presentation, visual presentation, and creativity and originality. A representative panel of judges will be selected by the conference host from among registered conference attendees. Judges from institutions with students presenting in the symposium will be barred from judging in order to avoid conflicts of interest. The judges will designate a chairperson who will be responsible for gathering assessment forms, determining the winner by the highest average score, and presenting that information at a plenary session of the membership before the conclusion of the meeting. The chairperson of the judging panel will present the awards to the symposium winners.


Suitable awards consisting of plaques, trophies, and/or certificates will be issued to winners of the student research symposium. Monetary awards will be given for the top three papers in the amounts of $100, $75, and $50. Monetary awards will be shared equally by all registered competitors within groups.

Award Recipients


2023 - Alex Furcoiu, Luis Rizo, and Brendan Czajka

2022 - Jillian Freeman, Samuel Gerbi, and James DiCaro
2021 - Patrick Mallaney, Jordan Bryan, Saul Garcia and Dontae Milner
2019 - Zoryana Smozhanyk, Minzhao Liu, and Torrey Swanson
2018 - Dakota Waldrip, Annabelle Shaffer, and Justin Deterding
2017 - Torrey Saxton, Jonathan Unger, and Annabelle Schaffer
2016 - Samatha Norris, Annabelle Shaffer and Kyle Robinson
2015 - Shea Cheatham, Rumeng Zhang, and Joseph Smith
2014 - Andrew Vikartofsky, Alexander Su, and Jarrett Betke
2013 - Andrew Vikartofsky, Kasandara Sullivan, and Timothy Woolworth
2012 - Tyler Linder, Andrew Vikartofsky, and Trevor Smith
2011 - Alexander Meadows, Benjamin Shields, and Allysa Miller
2010 - Benjamin Shields, Alicia Vonlanken, and Michael Chasten
2009 - Alison Smith, Michael Chastain, and David Wischhusen
2008 - Gabriel Caceres, Tim Garvin, Kara Lovelace and Michael Stachyra
2007 - Thomas Traynor, Alison O'Connell, and Sawyer Campbell
2006 - Nicholas Jurasek, Matthew Narter, and Alison O'Connell
2005 - Matthew Narter, Amy Winkler, and Cary Pint
2004 - Jacob Hutchcraft, Rebecca Wenning, and Matthew Narter
2003 - John Henderson, Allen Lewis, and James Gumbart
2002 - Anne Wake, Andrew James and James Gumbart
2001 - Jeffrey Smith, Anne Wake and Michael Baxa
2000 - Robert Wagner, Shannon Mandel, and Michael Baxa
1999 - Amul Tevar
1998 - Amul Tevar, Nick Stojanovich, and Clay D. Nall
1997 - Jason Griesbach, Jennifer Csesznegi and Mark Welter
Fall 1996 - Jonathan Foster, Bridget Ford and Chris Pelto