14:46 PM

Accepting Applications for 2nd Annual MSEIP Summer Research Experience

High schoolers, apply now for a fantastic summer STEM experience. For three weeks, from June 5 – 26, nearly two dozen Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP) scholars and high school STEM students will be captivated by unforgettable hands-on research experiences at the University of St. Thomas-Houston. Participants at UST’s second annual MSEIP Summer Research Experience will work on experiments utilizing physics, engineering and chemistry.

An Enriching Opportunity

For example, at last year’s phenomenally successful inaugural event, students built a battery-powered homopolar motor. They also worked on geometrical optics, 3D printing, DNA extraction and more.

The enriching summer opportunity is structured so that high school students will belong to a cohort, which will include MSEIP mentors from UST, MSEIP undergraduate scholars from UST, and a research faculty mentor.

An Expanded Experience in Actual Research

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Richa Chandra, Director of UST's MSEIPBased on feedback from last year’s participants, Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Richa Chandra, Director of UST’s MSEIP, said, “This year, we will have seven research faculty who will incorporate undergraduate MSEIP scholars and the high school students in their actual research projects and laboratories. Last year’s attendees especially enjoyed working in the lab, so we are dedicating more time to that and engaging them in a range of research goals.”

For instance, some students will participate in Dr. Olbelina Ulloa’s research seeking to decrease carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere through the design and mechanistic investigation of transition metal catalysts for hydrogen fuel production and carbon dioxide capture.

On the other hand, Dr. Chandra’s research has a medical focus.

“My project will further clarify our understanding of the development of heart disease,” Chandra said, “and via our novel bioanalytical methods, we can provide potential clinical applications in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease.”

Apply and Attend at No Cost Thanks to Grant

UST’s partner, the nonprofit STEM Bridges Houston, is again recruiting students to apply for scholarships to attend the summer event, which is in its third year of a U.S. Department of Education Grant. All qualifying students come from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and will attend at no cost. Yet the value of this summer experience is priceless.

The MSEIP Summer Research Experience aims to positively impact high schoolers in STEM and their interest in higher education. Moreover, the event seeks to encourage these high schoolers to engage in research and UST’s own participating students to develop leadership skills through mentorship.