The Undergraduate Research Program Symposium started out with a continental breakfast (which looked good, but I was too nervous to eat anything), then moved on to the welcome and keynote address given by Dr. Karl Johnson, Ph.D. He gave a talk about Carbon Nano-tubes and how he wants to use them to purify water in different countries whose ground water is contaminated with arsenic. Some undergraduate students then gave twelve minute talks about their projects and then we went outside for a picnic lunch.
I can sum up my experience at the poster presentation portion in one word: disappointing. A maximum of five people came to my poster, not including the other SEED students who showed up to ask me pointless questions just to make it seem like my project was interesting enough to bother looking at. I think part of the problem was that I was on the right side of the board, hidden from the general population walking past the posters.
The whole experience wasn't bad though, a man from the Mylan School of Pharmacy here at Duquesne University asked me if I would be interested in working in their building after I am finished with college. He said that their department is always looking for engineers and then gave me his card. I was a little bit shocked at my first ever career offer.
Every person that asked me what I was majoring in in college was very surprised when I informed them that I am, in fact, a high school student who hasn't even entered her junior year yet. It was a really good feeling knowing that I am on the same level of research as Sophomores and Juniors in college.
I wish I would have had the opportunity to present to more people, but there's always next year. I know what to expect now and I intend on improving my presenting technique for the symposium next year. This sounds like I didn't have fun at all, but I did! The whole experience was great and I learned a lot about other people's projects, thank you for letting me have the chance to show what I've accomplished over these 8 short weeks here at Duquesne University.
Three potential people that I could possibly interview are:
- So, why Duquesne?
- Did you give any other schools any thought?
- How did you get interested in science?
- What are you researching?
- Do you enjoy your time here?