A celebration of research and innovation summer adventures

Oct. 2021

Scroll down to hear from NCSSM Online student participants!

One of the many traditions at NCSSM is the opportunity for students to participate in a research and innovation experience. And everyone knows there’s no better time than the summer to engage as a thinker, maker, doer in a challenge beyond the classroom! This summer was no exception with 170 rising seniors rolling up their sleeves and diving in to solve challenges alongside their peers.

In its ninth year, NCSSM’s Summer Research & Innovation Program (SRIP) offered a total of nine programs in a wide range of STEM and non-STEM disciplines including Biology, Chemistry, Computational Science, Computer Science, Entrepreneurship, Humanities, Mathematics, and Physics. The Mentorship Program, one of the nine programs in SRIP, equips students with the skills to be a proactive participant in a summer research project with mentors around the state in a wide variety of fields. No matter the project or topic, each SRIP student is guided daily by the expertise of an instructor to support the learning and skill development needed for moving their project forward throughout the summer. This quality of support ensures full participation and access to a transformational, high impact experience for a large number of high school students from around the state regardless of students’ previous experience. Another common obstacle is overcome by NCSSM Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and GlaxoSmithKline with their financial support of the program, which provides students with the treasure of 2-6 weeks of undistracted time at no cost.

To celebrate the summer adventures of SRIP students, NCSSM is proud to present the Showcase of the final projects of our 2021! The showcase includes a short abstract and 3-minute video from each student or project group. We hope you will celebrate with our students by exploring the Summer Research & Innovation Program Showcase 2021 website organized by program or by student’s last name. The showcase was organized by SRIP Program Assistants, Renee Zhang (’21), Ankita Nandi (’20), and Vanya Bhat (’19).

Hear from a few of the NCSSM Online student participants and their advice for interested juniors below:

Pracheeti Shikarkhane ’22

Hometown: Cary

Mentorship Program

How did the SRIP experience help you "Design Your Future"?

This experience helped me realize my interests for medical imaging technology and the application of engineering to medicine. I definitely want to pursue this field in the future. I also gained valuable soft skills such as reading scientific literature, writing research proposals, and defining a research methodology.

Riley Platz ’22

Hometown: Winston-Salem

Summer Research in Mathematics

What did you gain from your research/innovation experience?

An understanding of real world mathematics, great mentors, new friends.

Case Maddox ’22

Hometown: Huntersville

Summer Research in Humanities

What did you gain from your research/innovation experience?

From my experience, I gained a wide array of skills. For archival work, I am now able to analyze and research pieces from different time periods while understanding how much of history is locked behind these objects and images. Building upon that, I was able to better my way of thinking when analyzing history and philosophy. This program also taught me so much about North Carolina's history, Black Durham's legacy, and the use of art through different time periods. I did not expect to grow so much through this research experience, but I feel that my entire perspective on history and the nature of objects has changed because of this program.

Aditya Pillutla ’22

Hometown: Raleigh

Mentorship Program

What skills did you gain from your research/innovation experience?

I got a better idea of what being a scientific researcher at a large research organization is actually like, and I saw firsthand how research studies are conducted. I learned better communication skills, and how to communicate research information to lay audiences. I also got to explore resources in data visualization and statistics.

Chris Ewart ’22

Hometown: Fayetteville

Mentorship Program

Do you have advice for future SRIP students?

Stay focused, positive, and optimistic even if your project does not quite align with your expectations. It is a valuable experience for you and your mentor regardless of the outcome of your project.

Shreya Annareddy ’22

Hometown: Harrisburg

Mentorship Program

Do you have advice for future SRIP students?

Some advice I have is to never be afraid to ask questions or reach out for help! The NCSSM staff love to answer questions and are always willing to help. The mentors also love being asked questions because it shows how truly interested you are about the research process or topic. Asking questions and reaching out for help will foster meaningful conversations and allow you the complete opportunity to succeed, so do not hesitate!!