UW Summer Program Prepares High School Students for College

July 18, 2012

Sixteen high school students from six states are conducting research projects and gaining insights on how to succeed in college through a summer program at the University of Wyoming.

The Summer Research Apprentice Program (SRAP) is an intensive, six-week paid summer research program for students who have completed their sophomore year of high school. Current high school juniors and seniors also are eligible for the UW program. The program ends Friday, July 20.

SRAP began in 1985 to provide minorities, first-generation college bound, and female students the opportunity to gain a meaningful firsthand experience to stimulate interest in science careers.

The program also is a valuable opportunity to gain firsthand experience in research at UW, says Lisa Abeyta, SRAP project coordinator. Side benefits include exposure to workplace expectations, educational and cultural opportunities on a college campus, and team building and problem solving activities for participants.

The program is funded by the Wyoming National Science Foundation's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NSF EPSCoR) through the National Science Foundation grant. The program enables Wyoming to be nationally competitive in science and technology.

“I want high school students to know that, even though they may be the first in their family to go to college, it is not impossible. College it is an attainable goal,” Abeyta says.

Program participants are chosen primarily from the Rocky Mountain region, but others from across the U.S. also have applied for the annual summer program on the UW campus. According to interest, participants are paired with UW professors and graduate students to study in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines, and prepare posters and academic papers on their individual research topics.

Among available research areas of interest offered to students include chemistry, energy research, ecology, botany, molecular biology, mathematics, statistics, engineering, nursing and psychology. Students will present their projects Friday, July 20.

“We don’t just look for minority, female and first-generation students. We look for students who really want this experience,” Abeyta says. “This program helps students to gain a sense of individuality and to see what life could be like in college. This can be a life-changing experience.”

For more information, contact Abeyta at (307) 766-6059 or labeyta1@uwyo.edu.

Students participating in SRAP and their hometowns are:

Arvada , Colo. -- Courtney Gettel.

Centennial, Colo. -- Christopher Hoyt.

Cheyenne -- Luis Morillon.

Denver, Colo. -- Monique Baca and Sydney Leal.

Escobares, Texas -- Bridette Salinas.

Glendo -- Kaycee Perez.

Houston, Texas -- Joshua George.

Plano, Texas -- Joseph Henderson.

Rock Springs -- Kassidee Brown.

Roma, Texas -- Yomara Cortez, Mayu Garcia, Armando Guerra and Javier Pena.

Saint Johnsbury, Vt. -- Alexzandria Steiner.

West Chester, Ohio -- Jonathan Gipson.

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