Students Participate in UMass ASPIRE

For the second consecutive year, several of our students were selected to participate in a STEM program at the University of Massachusetts MRSEC (Materials Research Science and Engineering Center). May Minh Quynh Le ’19, Ziqi He ‘19, and Jonah Abrams ’19 were chosen to take part.

ASPIRE (A Student-led Program in Research and Education) is a research opportunity in which UMass graduate students, with faculty supervision, mentor high school students in a laboratory setting. As part of the 5-week Saturday morning program, students performed hands-on polymer laboratory experiments in synthesis, molecular modeling, 3D printing, and mechanical testing. Students also completed an independent project.

Chemistry teacher Mrs. Styspeck coordinated the application process. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the students to participate in inquiry based labs in a well-equipped, state-of-the-art facility. I believe the program is a tremendous opportunity to build their science skills and provides visibility of what graduate research looks like,” she said. “As a result, graduate research then becomes an attainable goal. By the end of the program, I saw an increase in their confidence, their lab technical skills, and an interest in the pursuit of studying science in college.”

Congratulations to our “aspiring” scientists on this much-deserved honor!