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 Research Experience for HS students

The Summer Experience in the Eberly College of Science (SEECoS) is a program that is a collaborative effort between ECOS and the Penn State Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) Program. The mission of the SEECoS Progam is to provide first generation, economically challenged students from the state of Pennsylvania with the opportunity to participate in a summer science research project.

Program Summary: The SEECoS Program has hosted 163 UBMS students in summer research experiences from Summer 2007-2012. Participating faculty help plan and supervise a five-week long research project for groups of 3 or 4 students that can be completed in twice-weekly, 3-hour laboratory sessions. Graduate and undergraduate students are usually the direct supervisors of the research project and help the SEECoS students prepare a PowerPoint presentation about their results. The project mentors are prepared for the experience by attending a science pedagogy course that focuses on the communication of science and learning, a project development workshop, and best practices for motivating group work and anticipating road blocks in motivation and participation. The pedagogy course is taught in the spring semester in 3 sessions on Saturday mornings so it does not disrupt regular course schedules.

Information in regard to the school districts that UBMS recruits from to find their students: between one quarter (1/4 students) and one half (1/2 students) of TRiO-eligible students are not graduating from high school.


Penn State Upward Bound Math and Science Program Statistics:  100% of program participants graduate from high school  100% of program participants are accepted into postsecondary education  92% of program participants enroll in postsecondary education  82% of program participants graduate from postsecondary education  76% of postsecondary education graduates receive math/science-related degrees

The research project part of the budget is usually viewed separately than the UBMS student academy budget so that researchers can decide what makes sense for their proposal. The minimal support would be for research supplies and the project mentor (10 week stipend for either grad or undergrad) $4000.00, this amount is reflective of the rate currently acceptable for a REU student.
The Faculty Who Have Participated in SEECoS? Katriona Shea (Biology) 2010; Gong Chen (Chemistry) 2010, 2011, 2012; Zhi-Chun Lai (Biology) 2010; Alexay Kozhevnikov (Physics) 2010, 2011, 2012; Suvrath Mahadevan (Astronomy) 2010, Donald Richards (Statistics) 2007; Mercedes Richards (Astronomy) 2007; Christopher Palma (Astronomy) 2008; Peter Eklund, (Physics) 2008; Tyce DeYoung (Physics) 2011, 2012; Nick Winograd (Chemistry) 2011; Carl Sillman (Biochemistry and Microbiology) 2008; Ken Feldman (Chemistry) 2008; Tom Mallouk (Chemistry) 2009, 2011, 2012; John Asbury (Chemistry) 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012; Scott Phillips (Chemistry) 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012; Karl Mueller (Chemistry) 2009; Mary Shoemaker (Chemistry) 2008; Dan Sykes (Chemistry) 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011; Bratoljub Milosavljevic (Chemistry) 2009, 2012; Lasse Jensen (Chemistry) 2011, 2012; Phil Bevilacqua (Chemistry) 2011, 2012; and Jackie Bortiatynski (Chemistry) 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, Scott Selleck (BMB) 2012, Diane Henderson (Math) 2012, Renee Diehl (Physics) 2012, Catharine Ross (Nutrition) 2012. List of NSF Career Investigators: Tyce DeYoung (Physics), John Asbury (Chemistry), Lasse Jensen (Chemistry), Gong Chen (Chemistry). List of faculty with pending grants: Alexay Kozhevnikov (Physics), Kyle Bishop (Engineering, MRSEC), Miriam Freedman (Chemistry) , Alex Radosevich (Chemistry) Undergraduate Support: 19 students have been supported in summer research experiences from Summer 2007- 2012.
Under Graduate Mentor Reflection Statements:
“Looking back on this summer with SEECoS, I can confidently say that it was a huge success, for the students and for me. Aside from the students getting third place, the students informed me that they not only understood the project, but really enjoyed it. One of my students shared that she feels a lot more confident in learning science. These statements are greater achievements than any plaque or medal could warrant. My accomplishments were learning how to teach and lead the students. I also learned that I really do like teaching. This program has opened the door to a career path I may pursue in the future. “
“The SEECoS summer experience is a win-win situation: the students begin to develop their passion for science, and the mentors gain confidence in teaching and leading others. “
“Mentoring the SEECoS students made me a lot more confident in my scientific and teaching ability. It’s easier for me to pick out the most important details of any project and bring them to a much more basic level.”
“The students themselves were a great motivation and inspiration to me. They all came from different backgrounds, but they were similar in that they did not come from environments that foster academic success. Despite these unfavorable circumstances, all of the students in my group had grand dreams and were committed to academic success. One of my students wants to become a heart surgeon and another student wants to perform clinical research. I was bursting with pride when my students finished their presentation. Seeing their growth and knowing that I helped foster their development as scientists was the best part of the entire experience. All in all, this program was extremely exhausting and intellectually taxing, but it was all worth it to see how the students and I had grown by the end of the summer. “



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 Office of Science Outreach, 201 Ritenour Building, University Park, PA 16802

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