AMRI Summer High School Research Program
What is the High School Summer Research Program?
The High School Summer Research Program is a unique opportunity for high school students from the Greater New Orleans area to work as research scientists. During this 8-week program, the students, usually for the first time, get hands on experience carrying out research in an active university laboratory. The experience can vary greatly from lab to lab where projects can include research in Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Biology, Biochemistry, Materials Science, and Computer Modeling and can involve materials synthesis, characterization, data interpretation, and computational studies. In all instances the students are involved in active research programs doing cutting edge research.
In addition to the lab experience, the students receive weekly training in ethics, scientific methods, data tabulation, STEM career opportunities, nanomaterials, specialized advanced characterization techniques (e.g., electron microscopy, crystallography, magnetism), and management skills. The program culminates with poster presentations where the students present their final research accomplishments to other students, faculty, and staff in an open event.
Students selected for the program are from the greater New Orleans Area and typically will be sophomores, juniors or seniors in the upcoming fall semester. Since its start in 2002, we have worked to diversify the program such that of the 149 participants (as of 2017), over 61% were female and over 46% minority (36% African American, 10% Latino).
Learn more here.
What Will Your Support Do?
Each High School student in this 8-week program receives a $2000 stipend while working a 40-hour week (two payments, one after 4 weeks and one at the program’s end). Your donation goes to completely cover this cost – that is the funds will not be used to support any other costs of the program. The time and effort of the faculty, staff, and students involved are all voluntary and all costs of laboratory supplies and equipment-use fees are covered by the host professor or the institute (AMRI).
In the past, support for this program came from large grants (e.g. Board of Regents, NSF, EPSCoR), but in more recent years, such funds have not been available and we have had to rely on support from individual grants from AMRI faculty when available. Your contributions will allow us to maintain this program. Plus, your donation is tax deductible.
The impact of this program is many fold. It allows the students to work in state-of-the-art research labs, it allows them to understand what it means to be a scientist or engineer, it allows them to better understand the role that science, engineering, and research have in society, it allows them to better assess what is quality science and what is hype, and it allows them to better ascertain the direction they want to go into with respect to their careers.
How Do Students Respond to the Program? (results from recent anonymous exit surveys)
“Very enhancing program that taught a lot and gave me an unforgettable and greatly appreciated experience” Summer 2014
“This was a great learning experience” Summer 2015
“I enjoyed the project so much. It has taught me so much.” Summer 2015
“It was a great experience, especially since I am in high school.” Summer 2015
“Loved it and would do it again.” Summer 2017
“Loved it very much. Learned a lot and the professor was very kind. I will be coming back to continue research.” Summer 2017
Please Share This Message: If there is friend, colleague, or family member you think would benefit from learning more about the UNO High School Summer Research Program in AMRI, please share this project with them. UNO is grateful for the generous support of donors committed to improving education in the STEM fields and helping students succeed.
Thank you for your support!
Acknowledgments. All donors will be formally acknowledged 1) at the final summer poster event, 2) on the AMRI website, 3) the quarterly AMRI newsletter, 4) by the student or mentors in any presentations at professional meetings and publications resulting from the student’s project and 5) for donors at the Crystalline level and above, in a formal permanent display outside AMRI's main office. (For those donors that wish to remain anonymous, their names will not be disclosed at any time.)
Every dollar raised by this crowd-funding effort will go towards the summer stipends for the High School student summer researchers. Whether the donation is $10 or $10,000, the students will benefit directly from this effort. While our target is to support 5 high school students, should additional funds be raised, we will simply use these funds to support more students.
*Researcher level. Researcher donor levels (Quantum and Superconducting) allow supporters to become more invested in an active research program. They will be informed of the project to which their supported student is assigned and, when possible, they will be given the option to choose between a list of available projects (first come basis). The supporter is also given a detailed 4-week update on progress of the project and, for the final event, they receive a formal invitation to closing events, which includes a poster session and luncheon. At the event, they will have a chance to talk to the high school project researcher and the lead professor directly overseeing the project and have their picture taken with the participants. After the meeting, a copy of the final abstract and poster will be provided to the donor (choice of hard copy or pdf).