Due to COVID-19, many universities and research facilities were forced to close during mid-Spring semester and throughout the summer. Out of a pool of 667 student applications that were submitted, 300 high school students were selected to participate in the first Project Seed Virtual Summer Camp. 55% of the Project Seed interns will graduate in 2021. All the students have plans to pursue a college education. 199 Females, 90 males and one non-binary individual were selected for the 4-week summer Project Seed program. 20.32% of the interns were Hispanic; 16.20% were Black or African American; and 15.24% were White. With 25 interns, Texas ranked fourth while New Jersey was in first place with 48 Project Seed interns. 132 Leadership applications were submitted with 62 extraordinary Leaders being accepted. 23% of the Leaders selected were Project Seed Alums; 13% Project Seed Mentors and 35% were ACS scholars.
Each camp managed the activities for 9 -12 Project Seed high school students from July 6th through July 31st. Camp Nu was managed by Greater Houston Local Section’s Carolyn Burnley, 2019 E. Anne Nalley Regional Award for Volunteer Service and Dr. Javoris Hollingsworth, 2019 Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences. Camp Nu included two cabins: Cabin Cobalt and Iron which was directed by two leaders. The Cabin Cobalt Leaders were Corrine Cassel, Chemical Engineering Senior at University of Texas at Austin and Zainab Abolade Lawson, a freshmen biochemistry Texas A&M student and former Project Seed student and current Project Seed Scholar. The Cabin Iron Leaders were Cameron Goff, a second year medical student at the Baylor College of Medicine and a University of Texas at Austin Biochemistry graduate and Gerardo Carreon, a Texas A&M University Chemical Engineering senior student. The Project SEED Virtual Summer Camp was an overwhelmingly successful project which included four-weeks of intense programming that sought to strengthen students professionally while preparing them for in-person 2021 research as part of Project SEED or other research opportunities. Students attended webinars to assist them with their college and career decisions. They even participated in a virtual lab safety course and participated in a virtual conference.
During the month of July, 584 meetings were held, 666,700 minutes were captured within Zoom with 229 GB of recorded sessions. Nine different countries were represented within the programs. This time was spent attending webinars, virtual panels, online discussions, completing independent assignments, and networking with fellow campers/interns. Some of the most popular sessions were, Metacognition: The Key to Acing Chemistry & Everything Else - Sandra Mc Guire; Vibranium, Black Panther and the Periodic Table by Sabrina Collins ; Third Culture Chemist by Andres Martinez; Demystifying Financial Aid by Iona Nee and Lisa Perry; Time Management Skills and Key to Finding Competitive Advantage – Michael Ellison.
The following goals of the Project SEED Virtual Summer Camp were met:
- Prepare students with basic lab safety skills
- Expose students to sub-disciplines of chemistry, chemistry careers, and interesting chemistry research
- Develop students professionally by improving professional etiquette and writing abilities
- Introduce the students to importance of ethics
- Develop professional communication techniques and improve personal statements and resume writing abilities
- Examine career paths using career panels and ACS Career Resources
The 2020 Project Seed Virtual Camp students are:
We also wish to extend appreciation for all of the continued support from Local Mentors and their participation in the 2020 Project Seed program.