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Nicholas Senn High School Summer Science Internship


The School of Education, in partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences, hosts Nicholas Senn High School science students each summer for a 7-week Summer Science Internship on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. The Summer Science Internship program is one of twenty initiatives that run each year through the ten-year old Senn/Loyola School Partnership. Each year the internship program launches the last week of June with a week-long Biology workshop facilitated by Professors Mierisch and Cavanaugh. This year, students examined fruit fly larvae and their neurological systems. Students worked together conducting their own experiments in groups to gain deeper understanding of neurological systems and circadian rhythms. 

Following the first week together, students are assigned research labs in Chemistry, Engineering, and Biology. A faculty member hosts one or two Senn students who work alongside Loyola graduate and undergraduate students who are conducting research under the guidance of the lead faculty member. One lab examined the problem of microplastics in water systems, another studied the impact of human-introduced contaminants on river bacteria, while another is worked to design systems that support balance among elderly to prevent falling. Students are challenged to expand their understanding of science content, lab experimentation, and the possibility of careers in the sciences. 

Fatimah said of this summer's experience: "I'm coming to college next year and getting a preview of what the college experience is like was pretty cool." Aidan said: "It was cool to get the knowledge and experience of hands-on science work. I think it helped me. I had an idea of what I wanted to in a career and it helped guide me more specifically. I thought it was going to be a lot of reading, but I got a lot of hands-on experiences with graduate and undergraduate students." Cora said that it was wonderful to work with people in labs with so much knowledge and expertise: "I was really able to absorb their knowledge, and I feel confident in being able to explain my part in the lab; this opened my eyes to what I can expect and what I can be excited for." 

Thirteen public high school students had the experience of a lifetime. The lab experience will position them for college admissions, scholarships, and careers in their future. 

Questions: Contact Dr. Jon Schmidt, jschmidt12@luc.edu