AMRI High School Summer Research Program

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    What is the High School Summer Research Program?

    The High School Summer Research Program is a unique opportunity for high school students from the Greater New Orleans area to work as research scientists. During this 8-week program, the students, usually for the first time, get hands-on experience carrying out research in an active university laboratory.  The experience can vary greatly from lab to lab where projects can include research in Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Biology, Biochemistry, Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Modeling and can involve materials synthesis, characterization, data interpretation, and computational studies.  In all instances, the students are involved in active research programs doing cutting edge research. 

    In addition to the lab experience, the students receive weekly training in ethics, scientific methods, data tabulation, STEM career opportunities, nanomaterials, specialized advanced characterization techniques (e.g., electron microscopy, crystallography, magnetism), and management skills.  The program culminates with poster presentations where the students present their final research accomplishments to other students, faculty, and staff in an open event.

    Students selected for the program are from the greater New Orleans Area and typically will be sophomores, juniors or seniors in the upcoming fall semester. Since its start in 2002, we have worked to diversify the program such that of the 162 participants (as of 2019), over 64% were female and over 46% minority (36% African American, 10% Latino). 

    What Will Your Support Do?

    Each High School student in this 8-week program receives a $2000 stipend while working a 40-hour week (two payments, one after 4 weeks and one at the program’s end).  Your donation goes to completely cover this cost – that is the funds will not be used to support any other costs of the program.  The time and effort of the faculty, staff, and students involved are all voluntary and all costs of laboratory supplies and equipment-use fees are covered by the host professor or the institute (AMRI). 

    In the past, support for this program came from large grants (e.g. Board of Regents, NSF, EPSCoR), but in more recent years, such funds have not been available and we have had to rely on support from individual grants from AMRI faculty when available.  Your contributions will allow us to maintain this program.  Plus, your donation is tax-deductible.

    The impact of this program is manyfold.  It allows the students to work in state-of-the-art research labs, it allows them to understand what it means to be a scientist or engineer, it allows them to better understand the role that science, engineering, and research have in society, it allows them to better assess what is quality science and what is hype, and it allows them to better ascertain the direction they want to go in with respect to their careers. 

    How Do Students Respond to the Program?  (results from recent anonymous exit surveys)

    “Very enhancing program that taught a lot and gave me an unforgettable and greatly appreciated experience” Summer 2014

    This was a great learning experience” Summer 2015

    “I enjoyed the project so much. It has taught me so much.” Summer 2015

    “It was a great experience, especially since I am in high school.” Summer 2015

    “Loved it and would do it again.” Summer 2017

    “Loved it very much.  Learned a lot and the professor was very kind.  I will be coming back to continue research.” Summer 2017

    "...gave me a chance to be more engaged in research than I ever thought possible at my age." "I loved it" Summer 2018

    "I appreciate (being able) to work beside graduate students and learn certain topics that even college freshmen cannot access." Summer 2018

    "It (was) a very rewarding experience that will prepare me for my future career." Summer 2018

    "I really enjoyed my time here and wish that it was longer." Summer 2018


    Where are they now?

    Here are just a few of the students impacted by this program:

    Andrew Bankston, Ph.D. (Summer 2002), Application Specialist at Miltenyi Biotec

    Madalyn Radlauer, Ph.D. (Summer 2004), Assistant Professor of Chemistry, San Jose State University

    Caitlin Mitchell, MD (Summer 2010), Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

    Amy Olson (Summer 2012), Staff Engineer at Dewberry (company), Richmond VA.

    Alisha Chowdhury (Summer 2013), Associate in Alternative Investments and Private Equity at Wafra.

    Lacie Duplessis (Summer 2014), B.S. in Nanosystems Engineering, Louisiana Tech University

    Please Share This Message:  

    If there is a friend, colleague, or family member you think would benefit from learning more about the UNO High School Summer Research Program in AMRI, please share this project with them. UNO is grateful for the generous support of donors committed to improving education in the STEM fields and helping students succeed.

    Thank you for your support!


    All donors will be acknowledged: 

    1. at the final summer poster event:  
    2. on the AMRI website:
    3. the AMRI newsletter:
    4. by the student or mentors in any presentations at professional meetings and publications resulting from the student’s project; and
    5. for donors at the Crystalline level and above, in a formal permanent display outside AMRI's main office. (For those donors that wish to remain anonymous, their names will not be disclosed at any time.

    Every dollar raised by this crowd-funding effort will go towards the summer stipends for the High School student summer researchers.  Whether the donation is $10 or $10,000, the students will benefit directly from this effort.  While our target is to support 4 high school students, should additional funds be raised, we will simply use these funds to support more students. 

    Donor Levels

    • $25 Catalytic Level: Every student will get hands-on research experience! Donors at this level will receive e-mails and project updates on the summer program to see how your support has made a difference.
    • $100 Topological Level: Every student will work as part of a research team! Along with the lower level perks, interested donors at this level will receive an official AMRI gift pack and a digital image of 2022 High School Summer Researchers. 
    • $500 Epitaxial Level: Every student will work in a state-of-the-art research lab! Along with the lower level perks, donors at this level will receive an official AMRI nanoparticle. This nanoparticle (~10-8 meters in size) will come with a certificate of authenticity (“birth certificate”), pictures, and Care and Feeding Instructions.
    • $1000 Crystalline Level: Every student will directly contribute to the advancement of knowledge in science and engineering! Along with the lower level perks, interested donors at this level will a 3-D printed AMRI logo or, if not too complicated, their company logo.
    • $2,000 Quantum Level*: Every student will learn about the societal role of scientists and engineers! Along with the lower level perks, interested donors at this level will receive a personal tour of AMRI along with a 30-minute training session on our scanning electron microscope (SEM) or atomic force microscope (AFM)
    • $3,000 Superconducting Level*: Every student will share their research results publicly at the end of the program! Along with the lower level perks, interested donors at this level will receive a personal tour of AMRI, a 30-minute training session on our scanning electron microscope (SEM) or atomic force microscope (AFM), a 30-minute training session on the use of our Class-100 Cleanroom, and a 30-minute training session on our 3-D printer.

    CAMPAIGN UPDATE (5/13/2022)

    Because of YOUR generosity, we have successfully supported 5 high school students’ summer stipends! We are overjoyed with the response and are increasing our goal to support 2 more students! Thank you to all those who have supported the AMRI High School Summer Research Program!

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