High School Students Join SU Labs as Summer Research Interns

 Myles Cherebin works on a computer

July 31, 2017

For six weeks, Lucy Langenberg wasn’t just a rising senior at Fayetteville-Manlius high school – she was a research assistant in Professor Charles Driscoll’s environmental engineering lab. Using advanced equipment to analyze mercury levels in biological samples collected from Adirondack lakes.

“I feel like this is what it is really like to be working. I mean I am working with people who are doing real research in a laboratory and I am going to be doing some of that on my own,” said Langenberg.

This summer, Lucy and eight other Syracuse-area high school students are working with college of engineering and computer science professors as research interns. Myles Cherebin from Nottingham High School in Syracuse has been programming data extraction tools and studying privacy on social network sites. He says the opportunity has made him even more confident about studying computer science when he goes to college

“Before I had no coding experience and this is all coding so the exposure is good,” said Cherebin

Professor Reza Zafarani says Myles and fellow intern Somil Aggarwal from Jamesville-Dewitt high school quickly showed they were ready for advanced research concepts.

“They have done excellent things. Things that are not even at the level of undergrad in the first two years, said Zafarani. “They are going so fast, we have updated the program a couple of times. So basically by the time they end this, they have done so research grad students usually do.”

Haley Morgan from Jamesville-Dewitt high school knows she wants to study engineering in college, possibly chemical engineering. This summer she will present her research on chemical reactions involving different metals – based on her work in Professor Jesse Bond’s lab

“I really like getting to design my own experiments and be able to create new ideas. To come here and see what you are doing and to realize – I really do like this and want to do this later in life,” said Morgan.

The summer research internship program for high school students was created thanks to a gift from Syracuse University alumni Tom and Linda McCausland.

In addition to lab work and presenting their research, interns also had the opportunity to tour the Carrier Dome and get a behind the scenes look at the engineering skill required to keep the air-supported roof inflated.

Lucy Langenberg believes the internship has prepared her to step into a higher education research environment – no matter which program she decides to major in.

“I feel like the people here are making a difference in science,” said Langenberg. “I am getting experience I wouldn’t get elsewhere. I have thought about going into engineering and researching and it is really cool to get a glimpse of that.”

For information on how you can support the High School Research Internship Program at Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science click here.