Winners from last year--who received up to $500 in cash and recognition at APA's 2003 Annual Convention in Toronto--tackled topics such as cultural beauty, homelessness, bilingual education and single adults' attitudes toward marriage. Judges selected first-, second- and third-place winners as well as two honorable mentions out of 18 submissions.
"[The contest] is based on the notion that students learn more when they take an active role in their own learning," says PT@CC Chair Robert Johnson, PhD, a retired community college professor. These electronic presentations can be a powerful learning method, Johnson adds, especially since they require students to organize the material into a teaching tool for other students.
2003 student winners
Last year's contest winners of PT@CC's electronic project contest included:
First-place winner Casandra Hernandez of Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz., who received $500 for her PowerPoint presentation about the differing standards of beauty among cultures.
"Every period of history held its own standards on what was and was not considered beautiful," writes Hernandez in her presentation, which shows the cultural influences of appearance on social classes and age groups.
Her presentation, which was sponsored by her psychology professor, Ann Ewing, PhD, drew from the psychological literature to explain the evolution of beauty across cultures and the differing standards that cultures use to judge it. For instance, she used visuals and descriptions of the value of piercing, tattooing and body weight in some cultures.
Second-place winner Brandon Moak, also of Mesa Community College, won $300 for his PowerPoint presentation titled "The degree of relationships between cigarette-smoking and lung cancer in the Western United States." His presentation used charts and graphics to provide statistical evidence of cigarette smoking's direct relation to lung cancer deaths. His PT@CC sponsor was Mesa Community College psychology professor Edmund Lipinski.
In third place, a team of students from Terra Community College in Fremont, Ohio--Joseph Babione, Barb Ridley, Brenda Wasserman, Margaret Weisz and Lisa Zinn--received $200 for their service-learning project on homelessness. In their presentation, the students explained the work they did at a community homeless shelter, including stories of the homeless people at the facility and findings from the psychological literature on homelessness. The team's PT@CC sponsor was Carol Strebar, associate professor of psychology and social work at Terra Community College.
Honorable mentions also went to Moak for another PowerPoint presentation titled "The attitudes of never married adults toward marriage and cohabitation," as well as Carlos Hernandez of Mesa Community College for his Shockwave presentation, "Bilingual education: The future of Arizona's Hispanic children." PT@CC member Stacy Ropp, PhD, a psychology professor at Mesa Community College, sponsored both students' presentations.
The PT@CC contest, also sponsored by the publishing company Allyn & Bacon, is open to two-year college students whose instructors are PT@CC or APA members. A panel of PT@CC members judges entries based on their value as teaching and learning packages. Students can submit projects that illustrate and explain a psychological concept, theory, research discovery or service-learning experience. The 2004 winners will receive $500, $300 or $200 and will be recognized at APA's 2004 Annual Convention in Honolulu, July 28-Aug. 1. The deadline for submissions is May 1.