Summer High School Program
Each February, LLE invites area high school juniors to apply to our 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 research findings to family, teachers, and members of the Laboratory’s scientific and technical staff. Fifteen students participated in 2003 this is the second year LLE has hosted a group this large.
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.
Three 2003 program participants have been selected as semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent Search a competition often regarded as a “Junior Nobel Prize.” Nadine Lippa, of Byron-Bergen High School, Rohan Kekre of McQuaid Jesuit High School, and Anthony Noto of Greece Athena High School are among the 300 students nationwide chosen as semifinalists from the record 1652 students who entered. Lippa’s research used individual photons to transmit data, as opposed to a steady beam of light. Kekre sought a more efficient method for converting OMEGA’s laser beams from infrared to ultraviolet. Noto created a computer model to measure the chirality of molecules. In recognition of these scientific achievements, each student will receive $1000 and their high schools will receive $1000 to support their science and math programs.
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.