Taste of real world: Program fills 75 intern posts

The summer 2015 cohort of the Summer Research Internship Program

Just a little more than a week after wrapping up their junior year of high school, 75 students from both NCSSM’s residential and online programs returned to campus this past Wednesday to begin internship experiences for the next six weeks.

For students, a compelling feature of the Summer Research Internship Program is that they don’t have to balance their time in labs or offices with courses and homework. “They don’t have the distraction of classes,” says Sarah Shoemaker, coordinator of the program. “In five short weeks, they get 175 contact hours, so it’s a very intense and focused experience.”

The students are living on campus, where 20 of them will work with NCSSM faculty mentors for their internships. The rest are working with mentors around the Triangle — many of them NCSSM alumni who request our student interns each summer. Most of the positions are in academic settings including NC State University, Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, NC Central University, and Meredith College. Students apply for positions specific to their academic interests. Projects this summer range from a number of ecology and sustainability efforts to bioelectronics, optical devices for cancer diagnosis, chemistry exploration, and engineering education materials.

“The goal is to engage the students in a real-world learning experience to further develop knowledge in a field of study, and to get the opportunity to be hands-on as they progress on their own projects,” Shoemaker says. Faculty working with the students, either directly on projects or as intern instructors,  include Jon Bennett, Michael Bruno, Korah Wiley, and Amy Sheck along with Shoemaker. The students will present their projects and findings to the NCSSM community on July 31 at the Summer Research Symposium.


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