Well, I guess this is it. No more Project SEED. In a way, I'm happy. I've done some research that amazes my friends, gone on field trips to places I certainly wouldn't see otherwise, made new friends and learned so much. Plus I can do something else next summer too! But it's also sad because all of that's gone now, and I'm left with just memories. I'll miss the professors, the students, being amazed and confused as I go through my first week trying to figure out what my project is. Overall, the most rewarding part was the education and the experience. How many high school students can say they already have two summers of undergraduate research on their application essays? Or presented at poster symposiums, both at a college and at a national ACS conference in Denver, Colorado. Nope, not many. But Project SEED wasn't isn't just something to put on a college application. It helped me grow into someone who looks at the world scientifically; questioning, investigating, being skeptical when necessary and accepting nothing short of the facts.
I'm not sure if it's something that can be easily reflected upon now, I think it's easier to look at your teen years once you're done with them, but I know that this has helped me mature a lot. Being around people that highly educated (more so than regular high school students) exerts a certain peer pressure, the good kind, that helps with that. I feel more involved in science now. I care about new discoveries and research and what's happening in the world around me. I realize it's important because most things will effect me in one way or another. I've just learned so much, and it's hard to express in words exactly what the experience was like. What I can say is, if anyone is considering a career in science, in chemistry specifically, do Project SEED. It's opened up a lot doors and certainly had an influence on my college choices and majors. I can't think of any cons, except that maybe you have to get up early in the summer, but I promise it's worth it.
Thank you to everyone who helped make Project SEED possible, both across the nation and at Duquesne. I'm not sure how much you hear gratitude from the SEED students, but we all really are quite grateful. Thanks again and please continue your efforts.