Ten undergraduate students from across the U.S. will come to the
Funded by a grant from the
"This program will allow students from all over
Projects cover a wide range of interests and needs. One student, for example, will work to construct a 3-D printed model of a human body based on magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scans. Such a model could allow surgeons to plan complicated operations in detail before ever seeing the patient.
Another challenge for this year's students involves creating a micro-device to measure the body's biological clock at the cellular level. Most species have an internal clock that allows them to adapt to the daily light and dark cycles on the planet, and this student must create a device that allows the measurement of this clock-like function on an individual cell.
Participants were chosen from a pool consisting mostly of college sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated an interest in science, but might not be sure what to do with their education.
"We can have a serious impact on students at this age, because they are just beginning to figure out what they might like to do for a living, and we can help them find more direction," said
Students will live in UGA dormitories and work closely with graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and faculty as they learn a variety of experimental procedures commonly used in modern research. They will also attend seminars, take road trips to other facilities-like the
Faculty and staff from across UGA spent several years perfecting this program and acquire additional funding from
"Students may only work on a small component of an overall project, but each project addresses a serious problem related to the health and well-being of human beings," Arnold said. "Hopefully they will see the relevance of the work, and that will inspire them to continue."
Organizers are hopeful that some students will consider UGA as a potential graduate school, but they are ultimately more concerned with boosting science, technology, engineering and mathematics education throughout the country.
"We want to make this a sustainable program where UGA is at the center of STEM education," said Mao. "We will evaluate the program carefully and continue to improve our approach to better serve future students."
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