Wednesday, August 15, 2012

SRAP 2012 wraps up with success

Confidence building through science: A glimpse into SRAP research life
The Student Research Apprenticeship Program (SRAP) is a paid summer research program at the University of Wyoming for high school students in tenth through twelfth grade. It is sponsored by Wyoming EPSCoR and funded by the National Science Foundation. This is the last of eleven stories about the laboratories where this year’s SRAP students are working. 

SRAP 2012 students dressed up for the etiquette dinner.
The fall semester is right around the corner for the University of Wyoming and the adventures of summer are coming to an end. The Student Research ApprenticeshipProgram (SRAP) ended weeks ago now and the students have returned to their hometowns, some to finish high school and others to begin college life. As the students gear up for another school year, they bring with them the invaluable experiences they gained over the summer. These experiences would not have been possible had it not been for their extraordinary mentors.
“This program would not thrive without the support and dedication of the mentors,” SRAP Coordinator Lisa Abeyta said. “These mentors are sharing their wealth of knowledge with high school students.”
SRAP mentors shared their knowledge with their SRAP student, but also contributed to the students’ senses of independence, achievement and success. Mentors were not only responsible for designing projects for their students, but also for teaching them the basics of writing scientific papers, showing them the techniques of their labs and introducing them to the details of their research. Their role as mentors required them to look at their research in a different way and to find a way to blend together their expansive realm of scientific research with the world of their SRAP students. Coming into university science labs with little or no background could end negatively for all parties involved, but through the care and dedication of the mentors, the SRAP students learned they could succeed in their endeavors. This is a lesson that will carry the students through the rest of their high school years and on into college.
“SRAP is a great program to introduce high school student into college life,” Lisa said. “This program not only allows students to gain experience in the lab, but also to gain a sense of independence.”
This year’s SRAP has come to a successful end on both the part of the students and the part of the mentors. While every student and mentor played an instrumental role in making this year a success, not everyone was featured in this blog series due to conflicting schedules. Their involvement in the program however brought wonderful energy and enthusiasm to the program. Wyoming EPSCoR looks forward to next year’s SRAP and to the great projects the mentors have to design. Thank you to our wonderful mentors!

By Kali S. McCrackin

Photo courtesy of Lisa Abeyta

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