CPLC Members Participate in Young Scholars Program: local youth get hands-on with leading-edge research

8/2/2017 Elizabeth Innes and Siv Schwink

Kuhlman and Chemla labs participated in the Young Scholars Program over the program's 6 week summer research period. The program, which was pioneered by the Nuclear Physics Laboratory in the Physics Department, was strengthened and broadened by the collaboration of the POETS Engineering Research Center. The centers joined forces to spearhead the initiative of introducing high school students to scientific research. The program aims to help students discover what academic research is actually like and discover if it tickles their interest as a possible direction for their futures. The program also introduces them to what college is like. Professor Yann Chemla shares some of the benefits he sees for the students involved, including his own grad students: "Mentoring a high school student is a lot of work, but it is very important and hugely rewarding for all parties involved. Understanding what working in a lab is like, and how different it is from learning science in a classroom, is enormously beneficial to a student, even if they don’t end up pursuing a career in science. Also, mentoring junior students is a great experience for my lab members. Teaching someone how to do an experiment helps a graduate student learn ways to communicate complex tasks effectively and also forces them to think about the reasons why we do experiments in a particular way. I think mentoring experience is invaluable; it helps graduate students become better scientists.”

Read more about the program here.