Founded in 1999, the annual ACPHS High School Summer Enrichment program provides research opportunities for Capital Region students interested in exploring science and medicine. Six students were selected for this year's program and more than 100 students from local high schools have attended the program since its inception.
The students selected for the program spend five weeks working on research projects with ACPHS faculty members. At the conclusion of the program, students are required to present their research findings to a group comprised of ACPHS students, faculty, and staff members in addition to friends, peers, and in some cases, family members.
“The students we enroll in the program are recommended by their guidance counselors. They typically have enjoyed and done well in their high school chemistry and biology courses,” says David Clarke, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and Director of the program. “Most of them are interested in pursuing careers in the health or medical fields, but don’t yet know about many of the options available to them.”
As part of their applications, students must provide high school transcripts, essays about their career goals, and a summary of what they hope to gain from the program.
Following a brief orientation, students are divided into groups of two and paired with a faculty member for the duration of the program. The focus of their projects depends upon the faculty member they are working with and his/her research interests. Most projects involve gathering and interpreting data, but the students also learn other important skills such as collaboration.
In addition to their lab research, the students tour area hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, which this year will include visits to Albany Medical College, Albany Molecular Research, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, St. Peter’s Inpatient Pharmacy, and Albany Medical Center’s Clinical Laboratories.