The sixth iteration of the HSTEM course in the Summer of 2018 had 13 students and 3 faculty/staff facilitators. The course was only 2 weeks long and followed summer undergraduate research programs. The students had all participated in 8 weeks of Amherst College's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. The condensed course was developed by students in the Spring 2018 HSTEM class in the project "Expanding HSTEM Initiatives: Developing a Condensed Model for HSTEM Course." Although the weeks went by quickly, the students were still able to experience the key components of the HSTEM course, including completing projects. Read about the projects below!
Jea Adams '21, Jenny Gallegos '20, Samantha Rydzewski '21, and Dawit Wachelo '20 had just completed their first experience in summer research when they began this project. The students discovered that they all came to learn about summer research at Amherst through different methods and some of them had more knowledge on navigating the application process and finding information on the various opportunities. They realized that the process should be made more transparent to help future students. They made a brochure that has been distributed at Amherst, which is shown below, along with their project poster.
How SURF Affected Students' Identities and Pathways in STEM
Having just completed summer research themselves, Liubou Klindzuik '21, Annika Lunstad '21, and Kate Sullivan '21 understood some of the immediate impact that summer research can have on students' paths. Perhaps students discover a new passion or realize they don't enjoy working in a lab as much as they imagined. But what of the long term impact? How do past students look back on their summer undergraduate research experiences years later? Liubou, Annika, and Kate analyzed the interviews that all the students conducted during week one of the condensed course to attempt to find an answer to these questions. View their findings below.
Analysis of Past SURF Survey Data
Each year, SURF students are asked to complete a survey about their summer research experience. However, the results of the survey were rarely compared across the years. Lisa Cenek '21, Mezmur Edo '21, Yusrah Kaudeer '21, Cindy Lopez '20, and Audrey Stromberg '20 dove into the data from several years of surveys to search for trends that are not apparent from looking at one year at a time. See what they discovered in their project poster below!