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Prep students get hands-on chemistry research opportunity

June 11, 2007
ISU Marketing and Communications

Six students from Idaho Falls, Highland, Pocatello and Firth high schools are on the Idaho State University campus this summer participating in an eight-week program designed to give them “real experience” in chemistry research.

The six students are Tamara Shephard, Zed Platt and Kevin Housley of Pocatello Senior High School, Mike Fernandez of Highland High School, Jesse Zamora of Firth High School and Joshua Peterson of Idaho Falls High School. They are involved with a variety of ISU chemistry department research projects through the Project SEED program sponsored by the American Chemical Society.

“The students are completing real university-level scientific research under the guidance of mentors,” noted Project SEED coordinator Joshua Pak, PhD, ISU associate professor of chemistry. “They are writing reports and some are going to a conference to present their research findings."

This is the second year of participating in the program for Zamora and Shephard, who will travel to Boise June 17-20 to present research findings at the American Chemical Society Northwest Regional Meeting.

Project SEED is designed to encourage local high school students to pursue career opportunities in the chemical sciences. Project SEED targets students from an economically disadvantaged backgrounds, Pak said. Students who are taking or have taken a high school chemistry course and have not graduated from high school are eligible for the Summer I program. Students who participated in the Summer I program can continue their research experience in the Summer II program in the following year. Summer I and II students are paid $2,500 and $3,000 stipends (including insurance coverage), respectively.

College scholarships are also available for SEED students who are graduating from high school and plan to attend college. The scholarships are restricted to students who will major in a chemical science field such as chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, or materials science. The scholarships are intended to assist former SEED participants in their transition from high school to college.

This year’s Project SEED was generously supported by the ISU College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Chemistry, the ACS Idaho Section, and the American Chemical Society. Anyone interested in participating or assisting future Project SEED summer programs should contact Pak for more information at (208) 282-2612 or pakjosh@isu.edu.


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