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In this homework assignment, students are required to attend a university-wide poster session, the Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Public Service. I give them a list of students who are presenting research they have done with faculty members in the School of Earth Sciences, and they are required to talk to at least four of those people. They must submit (via email or a course website) a description of their four conversations, along with their personal reflections on the nature of research in the Earth sciences. I've found this to be a particularly effective means of getting students engaged in research because they are talking to their peers rather than to faculty or graduate students. Talking to peers about research lowers the perceived barriers to getting involved, especially for the freshmen and sophomores who think they may not have enough background to get involved.
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