2015 CSW-Project SEED Summer Research Program Report

Contributed by Dr. Ajay Mallia

Started in 1968, ACS’ Project SEED program provides summer research opportunities to economically disadvantaged high school students at academic/government/industrial laboratories under the supervision of a mentor. This year, CSW’s SEED program supported 18 high school students from DC, VA and MD schools for their summer research at NIST, Georgetown University, George Washington University and University of Maryland (College Park and Baltimore County). The names and institutions of the mentors who volunteered to guide these young scientists are described below:

SEED-2 Students

  • Professor Kaveh Jorabchi of Georgetown University mentored Ms. Feven Gezahegn of Woodrow Wilson HS.
  • Prof. Jeffery Davis of University of Maryland College Park mentored Ms. Sindy Rosales of High Point HS.
  • Professor Nicole LaRonde of University of Maryland, College Park mentored Ms. Ariane Chandler of McKinley Technology HS.

SEED-1 students

  • Dr. Wes Tew of NIST mentored Mr. Andrew Almeida of Wheaton HS.
    Professor Zhihong Nie from University of Maryland, College Park mentored Ms.
  • Enjolique Chandler of McKinley Technology HS.
    Professor Michael Massiah of George Washington University mentored Ms. Ms. Aisha Abdulkarimu of Wheaton HS.
  • Dr. Michal Chojnacky of NIST mentored Mr. Joe Amaya of Wheaton HS.
  • Professor Travis Holman from Georgetown University mentored Ms. Monae Richardson of McKinley Technology HS.
  • Professor Prof. Stuart Licht, of George Washington University mentored Mr. John Mitchel Arcibal of John Randolph Tucker High School.
  • Prof. Timothy Warren of Georgetown University mentored Ms. Jasmine James Wheaton HS.
  • Dr. Julia Scherschligt of NIST mentored Ms. Renard Petiangamba, Wheaton HS.
  • Professor David C. H. Yang of Georgetown University mentored Ms. Jennifer Song of Thomas Jefferson School of science and technology.
  • Professor Hanning Chen of George Washington University mentored Ms. Alexis Mosby of McKinley Technology HS.
  • Professor Marie-Christine Daniel-Onuta of, University of Maryland, Baltimore County mentored Mr. Harrison Razanajatovo of High Point HS.
  • Professor Akos Vertes of George Washington University mentored Ms. Jenny Chen of High Point HS.
  • Professor Andrei Vedernikov of University of Maryland, College Park mentored Mr. Leul Tesfaye of Wheaton HS.
  • Professor Michael Massiah of George Washington University mentored Ms. Raubie Raiford of of McKinley Technology HS.
  • Dr. James Fedchak of NIST mentored Mr. Tojo Rabemananjara of Walter Johnson HS.

The SEED students participated in a broad spectrum of research projects, including:

  • developing new instrumentation and methods for sample analysis,
  • characterization and function of hydrogels from nucleosides, design and validation of inhibitors of kinases,
  • physical chemistry aspects of flowmeter for high-vacuum calibration,
  • studying proteins required for proper facial development during embryogenesis,
  • studying proteins required for proper facial development during embryogenesis,
  • chemical aspects of absorption and outgassing properties of 3-D printed materials,
  • environmental and biological nitric oxide,
  • reactivity at copper porous molecular materials with embedded host molecules,
  • study of adaptive three-dimensional shape transformation of soft hydrogel materials,
  • understanding the biochemical, molecular and kinetic mechanisms of enzymes,
  • characterization of novel protein-protein interactions associated with bacterial virulence,
  • characterizing and chemistry of thermal ballast materials for improved temperature control of vaccine storage units,
  • computer simulations to construct silicon atomic structures,
  • synthesis and characterization and use of new Pd Compounds,
  • laser ablation electrospray ionization mass spectrometry,
  • preparation and characterization of functional gold nanoparticles for biomedical applications, and
  • photonic thermometry using Bragg Grating.

CSW’s Project SEED committee organized a get-together event on July 18, 2015 at ACS Headquarters to clearly state the objectives as well as to specify the responsibilities and expectations of Project SEED program. A range of speakers including, SEED mentors, school teacher, and SEED alumni, presented their own perspective on Project SEED. Topics discussed included mentoring experience, lab safety, and tips for success.

At the event the SEED fellows explained their research goal and SEED mentors discussed about students’ performance. One of the speaker, Professor Timothy Warren, Georgetown University, explained his experience in mentoring a high school student and selection of SEED research topic and also discussed about the importance of Project SEED program. Ms. Marta Walter, a chemistry teacher at HighPoint HS to discuss about impact of Project SEED on school students. SEED alumni Mr. Sang Ho Jee presently a student at UMD, discussed about his success story and the work schedule to the new SEED fellows. This program was well attended by the SEED fellows and their family members, school teachers, mentors as well as other CSW members.

CSW’s project SEED committee would like to recognize and thank the high school chemistry and science teachers as well as tireless work of all the mentors for the success of project SEED.

Photo credit: Ajay Mallia

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