Science research programs that produce projects that do well in competitions

<p>Hi! I'm sorry if this has been asked before; I looked through the archives and couldn't find this specific question being adressed.</p>

<p>Which summer science research programs tend to produce the most projects that go on to do well in science competitions such as Siemens and Intel? I know RSI does, but what others do? </p>

<p>Also, how do these programs tend to view independant research done a long time ago, as far as admissions go? I had a string of strong science fair projects 5th-8th grade (I went to the CA state science fair twice, receiving an honorable mention one of those times) but, due to a variety of factors, didn't do one in 9th-10th grade. I am doing one this year, 11th grade. Would my previous experience help my admission chances considerably, or was it too long ago?</p>

<p>Thank you so much!</p>

<p>LOL this is funny, cuz it goes against everything research is supposed to be.</p>

<p>but yeah i'd say RSI, and then getting a mentor in some cool school like MIT</p>

<p>Lol, what did you do in 5th grade? Research how to grow crystals?</p>

<p>Keep in mind that a six-week summer program is not a lot of time to develop a project, esp. if one has to work in cycles to develop data (i.e., life cycles of mice, fish, fruit flies, etc.). </p>

<p>The majority of the people I know who have done well at science competitions have worked with professors at a local college/university. Some have spent several years with one person; others rotated to get a variety of experiences; others work with a professor over the summer.</p>

<p>Put together a letter of introduction and a resume detailing your experience and coursework, and your research objective (whether specific or general) and send it out to profs in the field you are interested in studying. Many colleges like to take on bright and motivated high school students -- 1) it's a good recruitment technique; and 2) many profs truly like working with students who are passionate enough about a subject to take on research in addition to their other commitments.</p>

<p>One of my sons sent an email and resume to a couple of professors at a school that has taken on high school students for independent study and research. He's been working with one for about a year now and it has been a HIGHLY productive relationship.</p>

<p>The most important thing: don't do research for the competitions. Do it because you love it. That's what gets people noticed.</p>

<p>Oh my gosh, that came off sounding really horrible! I'm sorry. It was the result of a long conversation I had just had about trying to quantify the quality of summer research programs. I know that a lot of people do enter their summer projects in competitions, and I was thinking that the success of these projects would be an indicator for the general commmitment of students and faculty to their research. That would have been a good piece of context for me to provide in the opening post. I do research first and foremost because I enjoy it. Competitions are purely a way to demonstrate this commitment and passion to colleges, and eventually grad. schools.</p>

<p>Marimare - my 5th grade project was a computer simulation of natural selection. It wasn't totally cutting edge territory, but a lot of fun </p>

<p>Countingdown - Thank you so much for your advice! I had been wondering about the ins and outs of working with a professor. Are you saying that your son is workig with the professor during the school year? That hadn't even occured to me. I will definetly look into it after I wrap up my current project. How broad can the research objective be? Is it okay to say that I am interested in ecology in general, or should I narrow it down to, say, desert ecology?</p>

<p>Another question, is it better, in general, to work with a professor at your local university over the summer, or to go to a program elsewhere, potentially continueing the project from that program when you get home?</p>

<p>Sorry again that my first post came off the way it did. I really didn't mean it that way!</p>

<p>CountingDown, how did you son know which proffesors had taken in high school students before.
I've emailed numerous proffesors (20-25) and all have gotten back saying no (in a polite way).
However, I havent attached a resume, which from now, I will be doing.</p>

<p>We knew other students who had worked with profs at the school. The local colleges here are excited to take on HS kids who are willing to go the extra mile. We know others who have worked with profs at local schools for 3-4 years doing research. Ask your science teachers, too -- they might know someone from taking a continuing ed course or of another student who has done this.</p>

<p>My son started with his prof in March of junior year and continues to work with him. He meets with him every week or two for a couple of hours after school. Because DS isn't working in a lab situation, this schedule enables him to do his research and keep up with school. If one is doing lab work, one is constrained by the hours the prof/lab researchers keep, so that may limit it more to summer-time work. </p>

<p>He had also applied to RSI before starting with the prof, but in the end, this worked out MUCH better for him. DS had done some self-study in his area before approaching the prof, but that is unusual among his friends who got internships. Most of them did well in classes, had some particular areas of interest in mind, and sent out resumes from there. Get online and look at what the various profs study on their faculty web pages, see what aligns with your interests, and go for it!</p>