2023 Young Scholars Program: Week 1

Today concluded the first week of the 2023 Young Scholars Program!

Students working on Paper Tower activity

Twenty-two rising high school seniors were selected from numerous Boston area applicants to participate in summer research on the Northeastern campus. In addition to a research experience, this program also provides college application preparation, professional development, field trips to companies and research centers, and hands-on engineering activities.

This year, there are eleven participating professors: Noor Alam (MIE), Rouzbeh Amini (MIE/BioE), Mahshid Amirabadi (ECE), Sijia Dong (Chem/ChemBio), Ryan Koppes (ChemE), Jessica Oakes (BioE), Marvin Onabajo (ECE), Sarah Ostadabbas (ECE), Sandra Shefelbine (MIE/BioE), Aatmesh Shrivastava (ECE), and Rebecca Willits (ChemE/BioE).

Students began their first day on campus by building paper towers. This was followed by a variety of presentations, including a public safety presentation by NUPD, an overview of lab protocol and safety by Colin Burkhard of OARS, and a “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” seminar from Gemaers Dorvil. To wrap up the morning session, students participated in a catapult building activity with Mark Casto (Amesbury High School).

Lab mentors and faculty arrived for lunch to meet their YSP students and introduce their projects. After lunch, students and mentors went off to the labs for the first time.

Building and testing egg catching devices

During homeroom on Day 2, students were challenged to create a device that would successfully catch/cushion a falling egg. The students were given challenging and limited materials to work with, and the activity concluded with several rounds of testing at various heights.

Day 3 started off with a seminar introducing the college application process. Students were introduced to the Common App, followed by a college essay exercise. Our first lunch seminar was presented by Loretta Fernandez (CEE) on “Man-Made Chemicals and the Environment.”

Day 4 began with a presentation on financial aid courtesy of Colin Kelly and Caitlin Rusk of SFS.

The first field trip of the program was a walking tour of the Emerald Necklace.

Led by Lori Parker, students used an interactive map to navigate and identify environmental infrastructure and wildlife in the Back Bay Fens.

Posing for the campus scavenger hunt

The day ended with a scavenger hunt, in which students broke into teams and used clues to identify prominent locations around campus.

In upcoming weeks, the students will engage in more engineering activities, attend several more faculty hosted seminars, and go on several field trips, including Amgen and The Marine Science Center. To conclude the six week experience, students will present their research to faculty, peers, and family on August 3rd.

This year’s program is co-coordinated by two Northeastern undergraduate students:

Claire Stipp (Chemical Engineering ’27), an UPLIFT 2022 Scholar and a 2021 YSP alum, and Yassine Souabny (Mechanical Engineering/Physics ’27), a 2022 YSP alum. Several other members of the Center for STEM staff are also actively involved.

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