Summer High School Program

February 2003

Each year, LLE invites area high school juniors to apply to a summer research program. Selected applicants are teamed with staff advisors and spend eight weeks working on individual research projects. These projects culminate in a symposium where the students present their findings to family, teachers, and members of the Laboratory's scientific and technical staff. Fifteen students participated in 2002, the largest group in the program's fourteen-year history.

The goal of LLE's Summer High School Research Program is to excite a group of high school students about careers in the areas of science and technology by exposing them to research in a state-of-the-art environment. Too often, students are exposed to "research" only through classroom laboratories, which have prescribed procedures and predictable results. In LLE's summer program, the students experience many of the trials, tribulations, and rewards of scientific research. By participating in research in a real environment, the students often become more excited about careers in science and technology. In addition, LLE gains from the contributions of the many highly talented students who are attracted to the program.

This year, Phoebe Rounds of Irondequoit High School was selected as a finalist in the Intel Science Talent Search and Siddhartha Ghosh and Joy Yuan of Pittsford-Mendon High School were selected as semifinalists for research projects they carried out at LLE. These students are among the 300 semifinalists nationwide chosen from the 1600 who entered the competition, which is often regarded as a "Junior Nobel Prize." Rounds designed a new frequency-conversion system that has the potential to create smoother laser beams. Ghosh carried out experimental work on improving high-speed x-ray streak cameras, instruments used to diagnose fusion experiments carried out on the OMEGA laser system, while Yuan performed computer simulations of a new type of laser amplifier. In recognition of their scientific achievements, each student will receive $1000 and their high schools will receive $1000 per semifinalist to support their science and math programs.

Rounds is one of 40 students who will travel to Washington D. C. in March to compete for scholarships up to $100,000. As a finalist, she will receive a $5000 scholarship and a high-performance computer.

We are proud of all our Summer High School Research Program participants, past and present. We look forward to continuing our mission of education by introducing young adults to scientific research.

Megan Alexander

Honeoye Falls-Lima High School

"Picket Pulse Shaping with Phase and Amplitude Modulation in the Frequency Domain"

Stefan Astheimer

Honeoye Falls-Lima High School

"Estimation of Magnetic Fields in Direct-Drive Implosions"

Christine Balonek

Byron-Bergen High School

"Optical Applications of Lyotropic Liquid Crystalline Polysaccarides"

David Dingeldine

Churchville-Chili High School

"Plasma Energy Measurement with an Open-Cell Metal Foam"

Sonya Dumanis

Harley School

"Structure of Shell Modulations Near Peak Compression of Spherical Implosions"

Siddhartha Ghosh

Pittsford-Mendon high School

"Secondary Electrons from X-Ray Photocathodes"

Kyle Gibney

Livonia High School

"Computer-Controlled Neutron Diagnostics"

Sharon Jin

Victor High School

"A Ray-Tracing Model for Cryogenic Target Uniformity Characterization"

Jue Liao

Brighton High School

"Rayleigh-Taylor Growth Rates for Arbitrary Density Profiles Calculated with a Variational Method"

Christopher Moody

Spencerport High School

"Characterization of the Absorption Spectrum of Deuterium for Infrared Wavelengths"

Phoebe Rounds

Irondequoit High School

"Multiple-Tripler Broad-Bandwidth Frequency Conversion"

Micah Sanders

Pittsford-Mendon High School

"Thin Film Characterization of Al2O3 Utilizing Reactive Pulsed DC Magnetron Sputtering"

Gurshawn Singh

Rush-Henrietta High School

"2-D Pulsed Laser Beam Modeling Using PROP"

Archana Venkataraman

Brighton High School

"Characterization of Multilayer Diffractors for Framed Monochromatic Imaging"

Joy Yuan

Pittsford-Mendon High School

"Non-Collinear Phase Matching in Optical Parametric Chirped Pulse Amplification"

James Keefer

Brockport Central Schools

Recipient, 2002 William D. Ryan Inspirational Teacher Award

This award honors teachers who have inspired High School Program participants in the areas of science, mathematics, and technology. Honorees are nominated by current and past participants of the LLE Summer High School Research Program and receive a $1000 cash award. Mr. Keefer was nominated by Priyamvada Rajasethupathy.