Jhaveri assisted a professor who studies the nervous system of crustaceans, and learned what it’s like to do research at NJIT, a university that is nationally ranked for research.
“I’m still in high school, but I did research at a top college,” said Ashil, who will be a junior at Watchung Hills Regional High School. “It was a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will help me in college and afterwards.”
Ashil was one of 68 high school students from New Jersey who participated in the Provost Summer Research High School Intern Program.
The six-week program gave the students the chance to explore STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) by doing hands-on research under the guidance of NJIT professors and students.
“NJIT is committed to introducing young students to research, which is the most valuable experience they can have,” added Dhawan.
“Students love hands-on experiments and research,” Dhawan continued, “and no experience compares to the thrill of discovering something new -- a technology or a process — that improves society. That’s what NJIT offered these students this summer.”
Diana Carranza, who will be a senior at James Caldwell High School, is deeply interested in STEM. So like Ashil, she spent six weeks this summer doing research at NJIT. She assisted a civil-engineering professor who is developing a technique — electro osmotic treatment — that uses electricity to strengthen weak soil.
Before engineers can construct buildings or pavement on weak soil they must preload it, which is a time-consuming and costly process. With electro osmotic treatment, engineers strengthen the soil by treating it with electrical voltage.
It is a new technique that needs refinement, but Diana loved the research. She now plans to major in environmental engineering in college, where she hopes to conduct research to mitigate global warming.
“I commuted about an hour by bus to NJIT to work on this research, but the experience has been quite valuable to me,” she said. “I want to conduct my own research when I’m an undergrad and later work in the alternative-energy field to combat climate change.”
Diana enjoyed the research so much that she intends to create something that will help more girls discover the splendours of scientific discovery.
“As a first-generation minority female pursuing engineering, I hope to inspire others to pursue higher education in STEM,” said Diana. “I’m currently working on a project to create my own camp for girls to become more involved in STEM. I want to have a direct impact on bettering the world.”