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A Rising OpportunityResearch in Science and Engineering
Edit by. Sparky Yoo | Published. 2017.08.21 21:14 | Count : 107
The Research in Science and Engineering (RISE) program is a six-week research curriculum at Boston University designed for rising high school seniors. Through the program, students are given the opportunity to delve into significant research before college. The program is split into two separate courses.
       
The first path is the RISE Internship, in which students are assigned to a specific lab and mentor. A wide array of disciplines is available, including psychology, biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, astronomy, biology, chemistry, electrical and computer engineering, neuroscience, and physics. Mentors are typically faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. Internship students spend around 40 hours per week in their designated labs, completing research tasks assigned by their mentors. Moreover, during their time in the lab, students are expected to complete a research project. At the end of the program, a Poster Symposium is held for students to present their projects.       
 
[Poster Symposium for RISE Internship]
By working in the lab, Internship students procure a wide range of research-based skills. As an intern for the Brain and Early Experiences Lab, I learned to analyze data using SPSS, code videos, enter data, and develop friendly repertoire with participants. Likewise, a fellow intern at a physics lab learned to code, program robots, and collect data from them.

As exemplified by the diverse sets of acquired skills, the internship experience can vary dramatically among students working across different disciplines and across different labs. In fact, even the nature and scientific process of our research projects differ greatly. As part of a psychology lab, my research project heavily involved data that had already been collected. On the other hand, my roommate, who interned at a mechanical engineering lab, individually collected his own data.  
       
The second track is the RISE Practicum, which consists of morning lectures followed by afternoon lab work. Practicum is primarily based on molecular biology. Furthermore, Practicum students are assigned to a common instructor rather than individual mentors. Students acquire background and expertise in molecular biology through the lectures and lab work. By the end of the program, Practicum students are expected to complete a lab project and communicate their findings in an oral presentation.
         
[Practicum Lab Work]
Through the program, Practicum students acquire a specific set of skills that are imperative in the field of molecular biology. According to https://www.bu.edu/summer/high-school-programs/research/practicum/, students learn “gel electrophoresis, DNA preparation, and computer-based analysis of nucleic acid and protein sequences.” In contrast to the Internship, the Practicum content is more homogenous.
       
Although the Internship and Practicum are independent of each other, they also have similarities. The programs hold weekly meetings together to go over general topics related to research, such as networking, patents, and careers in science. Moreover, they have similar purposes: Both familiarize students with the research process and scientific career.
 
[RISE Internship and Practicum Students on Final Day]
In order to capture other students’ sentiments on RISE, I interviewed Daniel Shenker (Practicum) and Feona Dong (Internship):
 
Question 1 : How do you think RISE Impacted you as a student, researcher, or person?
 
Feona: [As] someone who had little-to-no experience in research, attending RISE really shaped my view of scientific research and lab assistance…I garnered so much knowledge just by asking question and volunteering to work with other studies. Personally, I found the six weeks to be a great introduction into research and a fantastic bonding experience!
 
Daniel : RISE Practicum successfully guided me towards a goal while also allowing me to drive the vehicle myself. As the weeks progressed, more and more weight was placed on my shoulders, a process I came to really enjoy. As a researcher, RISE enhanced my attention to detail in relation to experimental planning, procedure, and presentation. Moreover, while working alongside 19 other students in the lab, my ability to solve problems as a member of a group as well as my ability to offer suggestions and contribute to a group environment were further developed. I am certain that my experience in RISE will continue to impact my behavior both in and outside of the lab for the rest of my educational career.
       
Ultimately, RISE is an enrapturing and rewarding experience for those interested in any type of research. For more information regarding the programs and application process, students should visit https://www.bu.edu/summer/high-school-programs/research/
 
[Group of RISE Internship and Practicum Students]
 
 
 
 





Sparky Yoo
Senior
Phillips Academy

Sparky Yoo  student_reporter@dherald.com

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