Thursday, December 13, 2012

SRAP 2013 Applications are Open!

One student worked with plants in greenhouses
As of December 10th, the 2013 Summer ResearchApprentice Program (SRAP) applications are available online. SRAP is a six-week long research program for high school students designed to encourage traditionally underrepresented groups in the science fields to become engaged with and pursue scientific degrees. Students live on and work in research labs at the University of Wyoming campus where they collaborate with faculty mentors on a science research project.
One student studied snails
SRAP is one of Wyoming EPSCoR’s longest and biggest research programs for students. It is a unique opportunity because it provides high school students with hands-on science research experience that most pre-college students do not have the opportunity to pursue. During the program, students are paired with faculty mentors who help guide the students through their projects, but allow the students to take the initiative in the lab.  Students work alongside graduate students and other researchers, conducting experiments, trouble-shooting and recording data. Like their mentors, they experience the difficulties and joys of working in scientific research. Throughout their work, students work on a science paper, with the assistance of their mentor, which they turn into a presentation at the end of the program. The culminating presentation in front of their peers shows students both what college presentations are like, but also what presenting scientific research is all about.
In addition to hands-on research, SRAP introduces students to college life, including what it is like to live and work on campus. For many students, SRAP may be the first time they have been away from home for an extended time. While this can be difficult, the students start to form their own family and every year the students form a tight-knit and supportive community. Living together at the UW Honors House helps create an environment where students can learn and grow together. While their scientific interests may be different, their experiences in learning what science research is about are the same.
Last years SRAP group at their formal dinner
Last year, students worked in a variety of labs across campus, from diabetes research in Kinesiology and Health, to plants in Ecology to behavior in Psychology. In total, there were sixteen students last summer, working in more than ten different departments across campus. This upcoming summer, we anticipate having twenty-two students.
For more information about SRAP or to apply, visit

By Kali S. McCrackin


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