The number of Texas Bioscience Institute students participating in the summer research projects this year, was smaller than usual, but the participants were as good, if not better, than those of the past, according to those who worked with them throughout the summer.
“The students are great and they always are, but there’s something about these students, they are phenomenal,” said John Idoux, middle college research program. “They just got so much out of it.”
The summer research program began with a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation with a purpose of exposing high school students to STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Funding continued for six years, which ended in 2015, and the summer research project has since relied on the generosity of local organizations, such as the Temple College Foundation, the Temple Health and Bioscience District and other organizations for financing.
George Robinson, a senior at Troy High School and Texas Bioscience Institute, was offered a job with SiMMo3d, where he completed his summer internship. He was tasked this summer with building a compact sized board for the apparatus that is used as a training device of a heart procedure.
Robinson worked with Ryan Quinn and Colin Dodson, cofounders of SiMMo3D.
Robinson plans to attend Texas Tech University or University of Texas at San Antonio to study physics or computer assisted design.
“There’s some range in my interests, but why not,” he said.
The internship was great, Robinson said.
“I got a lot of experience in the lab and I can say ‘I’ve worked as a professional in a lab,” he said. “I had to learn CAD design this summer.”
Haley Brown worked with Laura Weiser-Erlandson at Texas A&M–Central Texas.
The research was about using biologic controls on aphids.
“Every Friday, we went to a farm in Thrall and did random sampling in the fields,” Brown said.
“We counted lacewing eggs, lady bugs and aphids,” she said.
The field was divided up into 10 sections and the students and researcher would count bugs on random plants on all 10 sections.
“We mainly counted aphids and during the summer the number of aphids got larger and larger,” she said. “At the end the aphids were in colonies numbering 400 to 600 plus.”
The numbers could be used to inform a farmer on when to use pesticides, Brown said.
“The research experience was amazing, especially while I’m still in high school,” she said.
Entomology may not be all that high on Brown’s list of interest, but she said the experience was great.
“I’m so happy, because I am interested in research and I’m glad I got to go through the process and do the research poster,” she said.
Brown wants to become a doctor, possibly a surgeon. She plans on attending the University of Washington.
“I’m thinking about applying for another internship next summer,” she said.
As Brown explained her summer research to people attending the poster presentation on Tuesday, her grandmother stood across the hall and watched with pride.
Luke Lichtenwalner and Daniel Spencer served as student advisors and administrative support for the summer research program.