Over the first two weeks of the summer REU students will participate in short courses to provide a comprehensive background in basic polymer science while allowing students to spend the majority of the time in the laboratory. The courses will be taught by participating faculty mentors.
Each faculty mentor will meet with the students to discuss the focus of research in his or her group during luncheons throughout the summer. Additionally, students will regularly attend seminars by graduate students and featured speakers from academia and industry in order to gain a broader understanding of graduate-level research. Professional development seminars in subjects including presentation skills, scientific writing, preparation for graduate school and career opportunities in polymer science and engineering will be offered in lunch-time and evening formats.
Students will participate in bi-weekly presentation meetings throughout the summer designed to improve scientific presentations skills, allow students to learn the art of answering questions and develop student confidence in public speaking. Each student will present his or her research before REU peers and faculty members during the summer. Presentation sessions will take place in the evening, and will build throughout the summer as students gain understanding of the field and obtain data. Students will be provided encouragement and feedback in a positive manner to help develop effective presentation skills. Students will also be provided training in writing research reports and will be required to prepare and submit a final research paper.
Activities and Team Building:
Field trips to local industry including Hybrid Plastics, Northrop Grumman and GE Aviation facilities are planned. Along with the educational field trips the students will participate in a team building ropes course to build leadership, communication, confidence, and team work skills. Trips to the Gulf Coast and New Orleans are also being planned.