Creating Your Story

Creating Your Story: Research and Innovation Opportunities at NCSSM

Oct. 2020

As leaves begin to fall and temperatures cool, you may already be dreaming of summer days of freedom and how you will spend one of your most precious resources -- your time. For seniors hard at work on college applications, you may be wishing for those easier days of deciding which summer opportunity to engage in rather than which college to attend. But juniors, your seniors can tell you that the way they spent their summer has contributed to their story as they continue to “design their future.”

Last summer, 26 NCSSM Online seniors gave up two to six weeks of their summer freedom to dedicate their time to a new kind of freedom: engaging as thinkers, makers, and doers to address challenges in the world beyond the classroom through the NCSSM Summer Research & Innovation Program (SRIP). This umbrella program consists of more than 10 diverse program options -- ranging from humanities to engineering to science and math -- and does not require previous research experience or any prerequisite coursework. Instructors at NCSSM and volunteer researchers in the Triangle are dedicated to offering these opportunities to provide you with preparation and learning as you engage in research and entrepreneurship and develop both personal and professional skills.

This past summer was especially transformational as the entire NCSSM community embraced collaboration, innovation, and positivity while navigating new avenues for engaging in research in a virtual world! Below, we’ll introduce you to just a few of your senior researchers and innovators to highlight potential options that may be available for the Summer Research & Innovation Program 2021 that will be announced to juniors in early December. To view all SRIP students’ work, check out the Summer Research & Innovation Showcase 2020.

NCSSM encourages all students to have confidence as you explore NCSSM opportunities and to discover the many additional opportunities around the state of North Carolina and beyond that provide fun and engaging experiences to grow and to develop skills that will serve you not only in your education and career paths, but also as you continue on your paths as leaders and engaged citizens in the world. So be sure to review the deadlines listed below, and then get started -- creating your story!

Katie Dukelow ’21

Home high school: Eno River Academy, Durham County
SRIP program: Mentorship 1 Program
Learn about Katie’s project: Microalgae Growth with the Introduction of Different Light Intensities

What have you gained from your research/innovation experience?
"I gained the skills to maintain professionalism through communication via email, Zoom, etc. Moreover, I have developed my confidence for presenting in front of my peers and asking my mentor and instructor questions.”

How did this experience help you "Design Your Future"?
“This experience helped me to open my eyes to research. Before this experience I would not have considered a future in research, but because I have had an amazing introduction to research, I am more inclined to partake in another similar opportunity.”

Ava Wellener ’21

Home high school: Pinehurst High School, Moore County
SRIP program: Summer Research in Humanities
Learn about Ava’s project: “Sundown Towns: Now & Then”

What have you gained from your research/innovation experience?
"I have gained a deeper understanding of various possible sources for research in humanities, as well as how to use those sources. I have developed a more critical eye when it comes to looking at or understanding sources such as photographs, painting, or maps."

How did this experience help you "Design Your Future"?
“My Summer Research experience led me to discover a very interesting research topic which I hope to move forward and continue learning about, and equipped me with the tools for further research in humanities. Although I was already interested in humanities when I applied for this opportunity, my research experience has further encouraged that interest and more importantly demonstrated to me the various ways in which one can conduct new and important research in the field of humanities.”

Kyle VanHorn ’21

Home high school: Gray Stone Day School, Stanly County
SRIP program: Engineering in Research and Development
Learn about Kyle’s project: Sustainable Recycling Project

What have you gained from your research/innovation experience?
"I have gained great experience in coding and developing apps. The highlight of SRIP was seeing the app come to life on my personal phone."

How did this experience help you "Design Your Future"?
“This experience helped design my future by giving me experience in the field of coding. I've always wanted to learn to code and this experience helped start me down that path. I hope to use what I have learned to make an app of my own in the future.”

Emma Rogers ’21

Home high school: Audrey Kell High, Mecklenburg County
SRIP program: Summer Research in Mathematics
Learn about Emma’s project: Probability Analysis of the Royal Game of Ur

What have you gained from your research/innovation experience?
"I have gained more mathematical skills, experience approaching broad programs, experience with teamwork, and practice with problem solving."

How did this experience help you "Design Your Future"?
“I have considered mathematics and research as paths I could take in my future, and wanted to see how I enjoyed both activities. I am not a math prodigy, so I had doubts that I could pursue a career that was heavy in math, especially in math research. I was a bit scared coming into this course that I would fail. However, I not only had success, but I enjoyed what I was doing and the approach we took to solve an application-based math program (the most likely form of math research that I would end up doing). I am reassured of my math skills and think I could take this path in the future.”

📣 Resources and upcoming deadlines for Research & Innovation at NCSSM:


To help orient you to the opportunities and why and how to get involved:


Upcoming Opportunities and Deadlines