PBS hosts high school students for Research Intensives Summer Program

Pictured left: Lisa Harvey (advisor), Tobias Shapiro, and Shannon Gair (grad student); Right: Yuying Liu

For 6-weeks this summer, PBS participated in the Research Intensives summer program, placing high-achieving high school students in professional working labs alongside distinguished faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students. Biology, Biochemistry, Physics, and Food Sciences also accepted students into their labs. A community of young scientists was created, giving students a chance to make connections with their peers while living at UMass Amherst. The program culminated in a research symposium where each student got a chance to share their completed project with colleagues and the public.

Hear what our Research Intensives students had to say about their experience:

Pictured left: Jonathan Zhang; Right: Anish Kammila

"This Summer here at UMass was really memorable. I made new friends and even got to do my own research. I really liked the individual projects even though a few late nights were put into the final product. Definitely, one great Summer well spent here learning about fascinating things that I would have never gotten a chance to learn about at my High School!" —Jonathan Zhang, Advisor: Youngbin Kwak

"I got hands on experience that I could further apply for my future." —Yebon Yun, Advisor: Evelyn Mercado

Pictured: Ashwin Srinivasan

"I think that this has been one of the best summers ever, because this program is really just one of a kind. Getting real research experience in high school definitely helped me realize that I want to be involved in research in college. The professors and lab staff were so welcoming and created a great lab environment that made the experience amazing! I think the biggest thing that sets this program apart from other pre-college programs is that the work we did here actually mattered. The research we were a part of is actually contributing to large scientific knowledge that has real effects on real people." —Ashwin Srinivasan, Advisor: Tara Mandalaywala

I would recommend it. It was very valuable because I learned a lot of skills, experienced how [researchers] go through a tedious process before they come up with a research question, and [after that] there is so much more to do. But it’s very exciting because I love doing the work. It’s also cool because we think of topics ourselves, it makes me feel like a [young] scientist. It’s cool to present them to someone else, especially to those people who know nothing about my project and it’s a challenge. —Yuying Liu, Advisor: Lisa Harvey

“My experience at UMass has been nothing but amazing. My expectations for the program were quite high when I arrived, so I have been surprised at how much it has exceeded these expectations. Working in the lab has been an incredible experience. Not only did I learn a lot about the typical day for a researcher, I also participated in most of the research being conducted. All of the undergraduate and graduate students were very helpful, knowledgeable, and kind, and I'm so glad to have made great connections with such wonderful people.

“While my lab experiences have been great, my dorm experiences have been even better, and I have made so many friendships with the other kids in my program. Although we live all over the country, I'm sure that we will stay in touch. I'm so grateful to the UMass program for giving me the opportunity to learn so many things and meet so many new people. This has been an awesome summer!” —Ben Chang-Holt, Advisor: Jennifer McDermott