August 3, 2011 – Summer program gives students a jump-start on careers
Young scientists can finally schedule some rest and relaxation before fall classes begin after completing a rigorous, six-week research study at Fort Valley State University.
Twelve high school seniors and incoming college freshmen from Georgia ended their experience July 22, in the Summer Research Apprenticeship Program (SRAP). The National Science Foundation-sponsored program for pre-college freshmen is designed to build an academic foundation to ensure success in STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.
Students were paired with scientists and graduate students who mentor and supervise hands-on research. They studied topics about biofuels, aquaculture and food safety. The program, which began on June 13, ended with a closing ceremony and luncheon in theFVSU Pettigrew Center.
During the event, students presented PowerPoint presentations to 100 parents, program mentors and Fort Valley State students. They also received certificates for achievement.
Dr. Sarwan Dhir, SRAP program coordinator, said the summer opportunity is designed to challenge students’ critical thinking skills, help enhance public speaking skills and prepare them for study in STEM fields at the college level.
“After their freshman year of college, many of these students go on to get internships at top universities because they have started research early,” Dhir said.
The program, in its 11th year, has trained more than 143 students. Dhir, the director of the FVSU Center for Biotechnology, said out of the students, 125 participants enrolled atFVSU and of that number, 109 chose STEM majors.
Angela Burnett, 17, is glad to have participated in the program instead working a summer job. Following her presentations, the Albany native said she feels more prepared for college.
“I feel like I displayed my knowledge, showing that I’ve actually learned something this summer. I also see where I need to improve so I don’t get behind,” said Burnett, a rising senior at Albany High School.
For more information visit Summer Research Apprenticeship Programhttp://biotech.fvsu.edu/programs_srap.htm or contact the FVSU Center for Biotechnology at (478) 825-6887.
FVSU Agricultural Communications Department