Spike Series – Research and Science Fairs

CollegeAdvisor.com (formerly Bullseye Admissions) presents its spike series webinar on Research and Science Fairs in a 60-minute webinar and Q&A with a Bullseye advisor. Our presenter will share their insider perspectives on how to develop an application spike in this area and how they applied successfully to colleges with this spike. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!

Date 10/25/2020
Duration 63:50

Webinar Transcription

2020-10-25 Spike Series – Research and Science Fairs

[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to post-sale mission spikes on Research and Science Fairs. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q&A on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q&A tab.

Okay. So I’m going to get started. Okay. Okay. So before any presentation, I like to start off with a little agenda. So I plan on talking a little bit about me and my experience with research and science fairs. Before college, how I got started with research, how to help you guys get [00:01:00] started with research opportunities with science fair and research programs.

How to talk about your research in essays, interviews, things like that, what I’m doing now, and then an opportunity for you guys to ask any questions that you might okay.

So whole bit about me. My name is Rashmi. I’m a senior at Vanderbilt university, majoring in public policy studies and minoring in neuroscience. I’m on the pre-medical track and I am currently applying to medical school and I’ve been doing research since fourth grade. I’m going to be quotes because I wasn’t really working in a lab in fourth grade or anything like that.

And I’ve also judged science fairs in the past.

Okay. So I really want to take a moment to just walk you guys through my research experiences before college. Talk a little bit about each project, why it would won the awards that I did. If I did win an award that year and then go it. [00:02:00] So I was fortunate enough to start doing science first since fourth grade, because I went to a stem elementary, middle and high school.

So science fair was a part of a curriculum. We all had to do a project in order to graduate to the next grade. So in fourth grade I did a little static Alaska Christy project, but I like rubbed balloons all across my house, even on my hair. And just to see like an understand, like how the positive ions and negative ions and all of that.

And so it was very simple. It was like a science buddies project. Like it wasn’t anything novel. Like I didn’t create it or anything like that. So for them fifth grade I did a project on renewable energy and I designed paper, wind turbines, and I tested their efficiency. And I think the reason why I won my school fair was because I created like novel designs for my wind turbines.

So that really helped. In that department. And then for sixth grade I did a little project [00:03:00] on aerobic respiration. So I fermented yeast and noted down the auction levels. It didn’t win anything or anything like that, but it was all like the first week projects were very much like science buddies projects.

If you guys are familiar with that, I think seventh to ninth grade, when was when things like transition. And when when I first started like actually trying to make my own project and taking initiative. And so I decided to do a project on purifying water using solar power to energy. And I used did it using very minimal resources so that they can be recreated in resource limited settings.

Okay. This was the first project that I actually made shock to professionals around my community. I’m from Kentucky. So I reached out to the wool water company and asked them if they’d be willing to test my samples after I ran them through the slower water purifier to see if it reduced levels like Eco-Line Cora.

I don’t really remember the details in particular, but because [00:04:00] like I created the solar powered water purifier, and then I took the initiative to reach out to professionals. I was able to create a very wild about project and that helped me do well. In terms of placing in state and then being a Broadcom masters participant, which is an international national.

Ninth grade is when I started doing lab based research. And I started working at it lab that specializes in type one diabetes. We were essentially creating a breath analyzer using gold nanoparticles to track the volatile organic compounds that are present and type one diabetic breath. So this would be a way to circumvent pricking your finger on a daily basis in order to monitor your diabetes.

And with that, I want to like a couple of boards in a couple of special words. And then after doing that for two years, I went on to do some breast cancer research on specifically triple negative breast cancer. And I was looking at how this particular [00:05:00] drug would reduce the proliferative activity of the breast cancer.

I actually started this project through a paid summer internship and was able to be a first author for a poster presentation. But I think there’s something you can notice here. I didn’t publish a paper. I didn’t make a groundbreaking discovery and I didn’t actually go onto an international science there.

So that leads me to my first piece of advice. Okay. So really if you don’t take one thing, there’s only one thing that you take away from today’s presentation. I really want you to take away next. You do not have to win an international work to be successful in science fair. It’s just they’re always like so many awards, like going one person can win those competitions and you don’t have to be the one to be able to use science for Azure spike for your application.

You not have to publish, to be successful in research as a high school student, you have pretty surface level understanding of whatever it is that you’re [00:06:00] studying. That’s why you if you choose to you go on to undergraduate school to learn a little bit more, we really go in depth about the different mechanisms and processes.

Like for example, I really didn’t understand how cancer metastasis worked in high school because I hadn’t taken biochemistry or really advanced level bio and chemistry classes. So to expect to publish as a high score, and even as an undergrad, it’s just simply. Possible for most individuals. And then you also don’t have to make a groundbreaking discovery to be successful.

I did not make any groundbreaking discoveries and most peers do not as well. And really people spend their whole lives trying to make these discoveries. I think part of the part of being in science fair and doing research is learning how to navigate that scientific method, how to read research papers, how to present to other people.

And I feel like those soft skills that you learn along the way are way more important than that overall discovery that you [00:07:00] make. Okay. So now I’m going to go into how exactly I got started. So talk to you guys a little bit about the different projects that I did before college, but I also mentioned how I went to a stem elementary, middle and high school science fair was a part of our curriculum.

And then. Another thing was that in my high school, in particular like science fair was such a big deal that we actually have a documentary based off of our high school. It’s called science there. You can, I don’t know if you can find on Netflix, but you can definitely find it somewhere on the internet.

So a lot of people in my school were just very involved in research and doing science fair. And then I think our high school actually set a record on the number of students that we send to the international on science. They’re like across the world. I’m not 100% sure about that, but I think that really helped because I had a very good support system within my high school and elementary and middle school on learning the scientific [00:08:00] method.

So if that’s not something that’s available in your school, then that’s totally fine. They’re professors professionals that you can reach out to, to learn a little bit more about that scientific method, which is going to really help you get that foundation before you really dive deep into research.

That actually transitions well into my second prompt part. I reached out to professionals around my community. So I talked about how in seventh grade itself, I was already talking to the wool water company to help them out with my project. I don’t really have experienced before that working in a lab or anything like that.

It just really showed them my interest in my initiative and my and just shared my story with them. And people are nine times out of 10 willing to help you. So it really, it is so important to take that first step and reach out to professionals in your community. Next it’s important to take initiatives.

Once you get the research position or whatever, you can’t just stop there. You need to continue to. Progressed throughout the experience. So [00:09:00] for example, when I started my research on diabetes, I would go every single day after high school. Like I was lucky enough that my undergraduate research institution that did the research was only across the street.

And I would walk over and spend three to four hours every day working on this project. And through that, I also made sure that I was learning and reading literature related to the topic. I didn’t really know what go to nano particles dead. So I read a lot of papers and try to understand what exactly they were.

It didn’t really understand the mechanisms of type one. So you got the jest. I did a lot of research on my own, so I could really understand the topic that I was exploring, but then even in, within the lab, I would always ask to do things or ask questions or ask to shadow my mentor, whoever. So it’s really important to take that initiative when she got the position.

And then lastly, there are a lot of summer research programs available across the country. I’ll get into that a little [00:10:00] bit more later, but applying to that really helped me find a pay that summer internship and really progressed with my research. Okay.

okay. So now I feel like this is the side that everyone is waiting for, how to get started if you are an underclassmen in particular. And so I decided to make a little like guide on how to contact professionals in particular. First and foremost, I think it’s important to find professors and professionals around the community who are being researched at your interest in, and frankly you might not know what you’re interested in.

And so I’ll guide you through, as I continue describing this slide, how to go about navigating. Once you find some individuals whose research seems to be interesting to you take that time to read their paper because when, and if they actually say yes to the whatever email that you write, it’s important that [00:11:00] you’ve shown that you’ve done your research on what they’re working on.

You’re excited about what they’re working on and that what if you were to participate in this. Lab, you’d be willing to continue continuing further their research. So that’s why it’s very important to go. Before you even write this email to do a little bit of research on what the projects are that this individual is working on, then you to write a professional email and I made professional wattage because I think it’s very important to stress.

It’s very important to say, dear Dr. Or dear Mr. Or Mrs or whatever, and then end with like sincerely and thank you. And I’m stressing this because I’ve seen a lot of emails that have not been labeled professionally by students. And so it’s very important to mention that. So introduce yourself.

Talk about first your name, where you go to school. You don’t have to say how old you are. You can just say like grade and then a little bit about your interests. So I’m going to stick with cancer research throughout the rest of the presentation. [00:12:00] Cause I feel like it’s tangible and everyone is familiar with that.

So if you’re interested in cancer research, I would just say a little bit about, I’m interested in this. Then I would take the opportunity to talk a little bit about what you loved about their research. People love getting praise and hearing how you liked the stuff that they’re doing. So that’s always nice to incorporate in the email and it shows that you’ve taken the initiative to get to know their research and are really interested then.

And I like this is a little controversial, but I think that’s better to ask for an opportunity to speak further to them about their work, rather than asking straight up whether or not they have a position for you in their research job. I think this because it’s important to develop that relationship with the individual before you ask them for a favor and it’s much harder for them to say no to you.

When you’re face to face or like on zoom than it is to like to say no to you via email. So getting that opportunity to just speak to them further about their work, even if they don’t have [00:13:00] opportunities, they might be willing to connect you to other individuals just because you’ve taken that interest.

And then I would also like to mention that it’s important to send these emails one at a time, you never know who’s going to respond and you don’t want to have gotten two responses at once and then have to decide when you’re the one who reached out to them. And it really, like once they say yes, like you should be saying yes, so it’s, you don’t want to be in that position.

So it really sounded like the first email out and then wait a week if they, and if they haven’t responded within that week and send a follow-up email and then if they don’t respond within two or three days, then you can move on to the next one. But really the biggest mistake you can make is not trying the worst they can do is say no, but at least you try and you won’t be living thinking what if I reached out to this individual many rejection emails in my time trying to figure out research opportunities and it’s okay because I’ve ended up in court and research opportunities that I really love.

And it just took getting a lot of those rejections and reaching out to different [00:14:00] individuals to find the research opportunities that fit best for me. And then lastly, in the meeting, Be prepared to share your interests and experiences. Quick moment. So I was reading through some of your submitted questions and notice how some of y’all were saying how professors that told you that you’re too young.

And if it is the fact that you want to do like lab based research. Cause I think you have to be 16 for that. You can start off doing your own research related to that topic. So I’m going to stick with cancer research. If you’re interested in breast cancer in particular, maybe do some Googling and Google scholar that NIH website, whatever kind of see what’s been out there, what studies are going on and just be up to date about what research is going on in the OD.

And that way you have something to talk about during the informational interview. And you’re up to date about what’s going on in that field. Also, another thing a lot of you mentioned was how do I get the experience to work in a lab? If you need our experience to even do that I think it’s important to remember that your [00:15:00] coursework, your extra two activities and even your jobs are experiences just because they’re not research experiences doesn’t mean that you’re not getting something out of them that will really help you be successful in research.

Like for example, your coursework, like w whether it’s like chemistry or biology, if we’re interested in science research really help you understand some of those mechanisms and pathways that you might be exploring, or your ExtraCare experiences, maybe you’re in science, Olympiad, or you’re volunteering at cancer.

Non-profit maybe those were like the ways you like got interested in the topic. And that could be a great way to just continue developing your analytical and research skills and then your jobs, but you’re babysitting your sibling or working at. Oh like fast food or retail job. Like you’re still learning how to present, interact with individuals.

And these are all skills that will help you be successful in research and in science there. But yeah, [00:16:00] really, like you just had to be prepared to show your interest and went in terms of experiences, like whatever experiences do you do have. And the worst that they can do is say no, but at least you tried.


so yes, this leads into advice. Number two, do what you love and not what you think you’re expected to do. So I’m still sticking with my cancer research anecdote, but I feel like people think cancer research or lab based research is the only research out there. Now I’ll be not the first person to tell you this, but that is not the only research out there.

Every single field needs research to innovate. So whether you want to understand the racial disparities in the criminal justice system, or you want to develop a better mask to protect against COVID or create a program that connects individuals to jobs, you need to do research for them. And honestly, I’m mentioning all these different examples because a lot of this [00:17:00] innovation can be done in the comfort of your own room.

You don’t have to go out. And I think that’s pretty important to remember, especially during our time, the time that we’re living in right now. So really you might think that you had to do cancer research, and if that’s something that you want to do or lab based research, we’re more than welcome to this might be a little difficult to do during this time, but really no matter what you’re interested in science or non-science, there is an opportunity to do research in the comfort of your own home.

You have to continue doing research. And so you can reach out to professors. And it depends on which professor you reached out to, but there likely will be some remote opportunities that you can participate in. Okay. So now I’m going to talk a little bit about science fair, and then I’ll talk a little bit about research programs.

So science fair is a pretty interesting concept as a brilliant opportunity for you to share [00:18:00] whatever it is that you’ve been working on and really just shared your journey through the scientific method. The ones that I bought it, or the ones that I’ve had the opportunity to participate in.

But I’m going to walk you through the different kinds of science fairs. So their science fairs, where you have to go through like school regional state before you can make it to nationals. And then their science fairs that you can just apply to like national science fairs that you can just apply to without your school.

So in terms of the international fair, the one that has a lot of name recognition internet. Science and engineering fair ICF. You have to go through like a school or regional fair. If your school doesn’t have a fair, they have a web finder like zip code finder thing.

I’m really not sure how to describe it, but they have a way for you to find nearby regional fairs that you can apply to and present your research. So if your school is that, that’s not what your school is until you can find stuff nearby too. So you can progress through this process. Once place like you to get first or [00:19:00] second place in a school or regional fair in terms of like your category or best affair in order to move on to.

Same thing you have to like when first or second in your category, and then you have to win best affair for state in order to move on to the international fair. In particular. Now there are a lot of other national fairs to keep in mind like the national junior science symposium and like that it says this humanities, it’s an opportunity to present non-science research and then a couple others that have some pretty good name recognition that you don’t necessarily have to progress through from like school regional state to international.

I feel like, yeah, that’s all I had to say about. Okay.

Okay. So then a little bit about research programs. The thing about research programs is that they’re paid unpaid. They’re ones that you have to pay to participate in. So [00:20:00] definitely can be a barrier in term depending on your financial situation, but generally a lot of these opportunities require you having a high standardized test score, teacher recommendations, essays, and some prerequisite classes like chemistry, biology for applying to a science-based research program.

I can actually tell you from experience when I applied to the research program that I got accepted at, I didn’t get in the first time I applied my freshman year. And even though I had experienced, I didn’t get it, but I think that has a lot to do with the fact that I hadn’t taken biology or chemistry.

So I didn’t really have that background. And so there were like, okay I don’t think she’s ready once I took those classes, I actually got in the second time I applied. So I feel like those are the things that are important to remember. When you apply for research and the other thing is that many universities offer summer research programs for high school students like Stanford, Boston, Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins and a lot of these research programs are tailored to serve [00:21:00] under-representative members in research and in stem fields.

And so if you belong to one of those groups you might actually have a preference for getting into some of these programs. There are also hospitals and organizations to have you switch programs. I noticed like Cleveland clinic and Seattle where some of the ones that I found but also the buck Institute of research in aging.

And there might like in the Alzheimer’s non-profits and things like that, they often have. Free research opportunities. And so that might be a good way to get involved and try to pursue some research opportunities. And also, I know like a lot of these opportunities I found like from pre COVID, but as I was doing a little bit of research, I noticed that a lot of them have been done and continued remotely.

So that is something to keep in mind, these opportunities, depending you have to do a little better research, honestly. Go to school and then look up science, like research opportunities for high school students and you’ll find, and figure out whether or not that school has a research [00:22:00] opportunity.

But depending on that it seems like a lot of them have tailored and adapted to the COVID times. The two most popular ones, I feel like the has a lot of name recognition is the national Institute of health and the research on science Institute NIH and RSI. I know NIH was put on a pause this past summer.

I’m not really sure about RSI, but for those, you do have to have pretty substantial research experience and have to have a lot of those prerequisites, such as high test scores, good teacher recommendations, essays, things like that in order to be successful in those programs are highly Socrative. So having that experience beforehand and your ballot is important to get into those, but for a lot of these other summer research programs, you don’t necessarily need experience.

Okay. So now how to talk about your research and stand out under a common app application your alumni interviews, whatever. I think the one [00:23:00] very important thing is to know your why did you pursue that research opportunity? I’ll talk about the diabetes research opportunity that I pursued.

And I think the reason why I did it was because I have a lot of family members that have suffered through diabetes and watching them prick their fingers and going through that pain. I like it made me sad. I can imagine how they felt. So for me it was just like, okay, I want to do something about that.

And so I know my why, and I feel like that’s important for you to know, regardless of any research experience that you do. Nine times out of 10. If you’re like in a science for presentation, or even like an alumni interview, they’re going to ask you why you decide to put all that time and effort into your research.

So that’s very important to know your why then it’s important to talk about your contribution. And I stress this because nobody wants to hear about what you’re I’m principal investigator. That’s what PI is. Yeah. You’re not the one for example, in my cancer research, I was not the one that [00:24:00] discovered the drug that was therapeutic for the cancer.

Like for breast cancer. That was not something that I did. So if I talk about how, like my lab discovered that I didn’t do that. So normally cares. Cause that’s not what I did. But they really want to hear about what you did in the lab. And so this is very important and especially since I like I’ve been a judge before, and this is a very important in terms of judging, we really want to see what you’ve done.

And similarly college colleges want to see what you’ve done. So for me, in terms of the cancer research I didn’t discover the drug, but I was looking at how the drug affected metastasis. So I did like MTT essays and invasion assays. So I talked about what I did in particular rather than what like the lab did.

So that’s very important to talk about when in your essay or in our alumni. And then in terms of knowing your audience also very important to keep in mind, if you want to write an essay like you’re coming up, I say, or like just an essay that’s going to admissions [00:25:00] about your research. Keep in mind that a lot of the research member I’ve started a lot of the admissions committee members don’t have a science person.

They might, but you really don’t know, there’s no way of you knowing beforehand. So you have to keep that in mind when you’re describing your research, because if they don’t have a science background, if I write like an MTT, if I say the words, MTTR essay or innovation essay going to be like, what? So it’s important to like, keep in mind your audience and tailor your responses based like that.

And then also like for an alumni interview, maybe you are paired with someone who works on that research or who is has a PhD and that research, then it’s important that you’re actually talking about it at that level, as much as you can. Granted, you’re not going to be able to talk about it at the level of a PhD student, but just make sure you can be technical and really talk about the mechanisms and the intricacies of your project.

And this is also important in terms of science for judging, [00:26:00] because if you can’t really talk about how exactly, for example, in the cancer project, how exactly metastasis occurs then, like it doesn’t really come off. And then is there an opportunity to continue your research at your chosen university?

So whenever I was writing. How about my research for Vanderbilt or for other schools? I made sure to talk about how I could potentially continue that research in my choosing university. So I looked up like type one diabetes research that’s being done at Vanderbelt or like breast cancer research.

And I talked a little bit about like the professors and some of their research topics and how I could continue. Cause I’ve already had experience working in that field, continue it on in college. And that can be a huge strength for new, oh, why school essay? So that’s something important to keep in mind and something to look into further.

And then the lastly you should highlight both the hard skills and the soft skills that you got out of your research for science, for experiences. So like hard skills would be like all the lab [00:27:00] tech techniques that you learn, or I dunno, I that’s the only thing I can think of, but like soft skills or like presentations, like how to read a paper how to work in a team, how to collaborate with other individuals like that food skills are so important and will be so essential for your research experiences in college with your academic experiences, like extra good experiences, you name it.

So highlighting both can help to show how you can be an asset for the school, both in a research setting and also in an academic setting. So I feel like that’s something that’s sometimes forgotten, but you really are getting more out of the research than just the, okay.

Yeah, so it leads into my third piece of advice. Be. People will know whether or not you’re actually came up with the idea or did the work. So I like to come back to the story of when I was judging a science fair and I was [00:28:00] judging a middle school science fair in particular, but I still think it’s an important story to highlight.

We asked the student a little bit about his project. He said that he worked in a lab studying glaucoma. And like, when I started asking him about there was like a particular.in the image and it was likely some kind of artifact. It’s I don’t know, but I wanted him to explain it to me a little further.

You really couldn’t explain it to me because he did not know, like you’re not showing know much about the project then granted he was in eighth grade and as an eighth grader, like a lab project probably doesn’t make too much sense. And they probably didn’t have an opportunity to get very involved in the research.

But in general, this can apply in high school and an undergrad. If you don’t know your research, you don’t actually know what work he did. And I’m like, it’s going to be very difficult to be authentic. And it’s going to come up pretty clearly when you’re talking and when, even when you’re writing, because you’re not going to be able to elaborate much about the project.

And also it’s important to talk about topics that you actually came up [00:29:00] with because then you actually have a really strong word. When you come up with the topic yourself, you really know like the reason why you pursued it and it’s just all together, like just a more compelling project. So I feel like these are like more beneficial for competing in a science fair, like this, a piece of advice, but also it can be helpful when you’re writing your essays and in our, in alumni interviews.

Okay. And then lastly, what am I doing now? I don’t know if you remember, but I sent him a public policy major and a minor in neuroscience. So I very quickly realized I didn’t want to do bench research. In undergrad, I did it in high school and I was done with it. That was not what I wanted to do.

I didn’t want to count stars and pipette things. So when I got to undergrad, I really tried to find research opportunities that help me get out of the bench research, pursue clinical research and topics. I was really interest. So the acute respiratory infection, acute gastroenteritis illness surveillance, and pediatric patients allowed me to [00:30:00] work in the emergency department and engage with families, any family that came in to the emergency department and see if the child qualified for the CDC sponsored study that we were doing so that we could enroll them and identify potential vaccine targets so that we can mitigate pathogens that are circulating around kids that and this current day and age.

So for me, it was just really awesome to be able to talk to all the families and the children. And especially since I am pre-med and it was a great research experience cause I was collecting data, but in such a fun and engaging way. And then. For the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and Tennessee’s top health care issues.

So I going to be in bot so it’s located in Nashville, Tennessee, and and I’m very interested in hot policy. So it was very like for me, it was very fun to look into how adverse childhood experiences were exaggerating, like the opioid epidemic, like the loss of insurance coverage and things like that, and seeing how policy was affecting [00:31:00] that.

And yet that the store research experience. And honestly, I didn’t have to leave my room to do that. So there are a lot of opportunities to do during COVID as well. And then the project, the most recent project I’m working on is looking into the health care access for pregnant women with opioid use disorder.

It very much varies across the country. So it’s very important for us to look into how policies different, differ and kind of work to figure out how to improve access for this vulnerable patient population. My research experiences before college and my research experiences now have changed drastically.

But I think that I definitely took the time during, before college to explore and figure out what works for me. And you can really see that what I’m doing might not seem like very like science, like cancer research asks, but like I’m still, I’m really enjoying my time store research, and still going to be really useful for communities.

So it’s important to consider anything and everything that you’re interested in. It doesn’t have to just be science. [00:32:00] Okay.

Oh no. Oh, sorry. I made a mistake. Okay. I know that was a lot of content. So before I wrap things up, I hear support for y’all. Which of the following are you most interested with or most interested in? I’m sorry. Which of the following most involved with or most interested in.

Okay. I’m going to look at the poll results.

okay. It seems like a lot of people are saying both and research, so not a lot of people are just soaking up some science there. Okay. That’s interesting.[00:33:00]

Okay. Okay. Yeah. So the winner was both, it seems like people are very interested in both. Awesome. Okay. And then, yeah, so that was the end of the presentation part of the webinar. And I hope you found this information helpful and remember that you can download the slides in the handout tab or from the link in the public chat.

And so we’re going to move on to the live Q and a portion. I’ll read the questions that you submitted in the Q and a tab and paste them into the public shots. So you can see, and then read them out loud before giving an answer. And as a heads-up, if you’re a Q and a tab is not letting you submit questions, just double check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email these ones, your student email and are not like, not from the link that you use in the webinar landing page.

Okay. I’m not looking at the poll. No, the question Q and a.[00:34:00]


Okay. So I’m gonna post our first question. Oh, okay. So how did I get access to labs in ninth grade? Great question. I have quite a story because I have an older brother who actually did science fair when he was in high school. So he gave me a lot of tips and tricks on how to reach out to different professionals.

And I also had a very close friend whose dad worked in a research lab, but even though I had those contacts it was important for me to get the position on my own. And so for me I like to just reach out to different professionals. I told them what I was interested in, that I wanted to do research.

And then we had a little interview. So like I said, I got informational interview [00:35:00] before I was able to get a position. So it’s very important to just do your research, figure out who’s working in the field that you’re interested in set up that informational interview really. Do amazing in that informational interview by like really showcasing your interest and your dedication to their research and then likely, and hopefully fingers crossed you got the position.

Let’s see

this summer a professor, let me come in for a month, but then had to kick me out because of the university’s guideline for COBIT. Are there other ways to get involved with research and science first without doing things in the lab? Absolutely. It seems like you were working in a lab when your professor kicked you out.

So if you wanted to continue that project and maybe you could ask the professor if they have like literature reviews. So like looking through all their public published research, that’s available out there. It’s a little tedious, but that’s definitely something you can do at home. And it’s still a really good way to get involved in [00:36:00] research.

And then in terms of the science fair I think I mentioned a couple ideas, like whether it is developing and creating your a better mask to protect against COVID or like the solar powered water purifier, or like things like that. Like outside of like science, like basic science research there’s research is necessary for pretty much every single field.

Available. So you’re, if you could just find a question that you had, you can turn it into a research project in the comfort of your own home and like that opioid the one about what access to research for pregnant women with opioid use disorder. I am literally doing in the comfort of my own room.

So it has a lot for me. It’s like a lot of looking at information that’s currently available on the internet kind of identifying gaps and then figuring out how we can go about addressing them. Let’s see.[00:37:00]

Okay. I’m going to.

Okay, I’m gonna have to think about this question a little bit. Okay. I just had a quick question about how to actually do internet research. Do you just Google it to find some info? How do you actually find a solution to what you’re researching for just know that theoretical information and not much the practical.

Okay. Okay. So essentially when you’re doing internet research I would just start off with a topic that you’re interested in. So I’m going to use the example like the growing rates of mental health disorders in Criminal justice system. The amazing thing is that there’s so much data available on the internet.

So much three data as well. So it can be like your state depart, like your state health department. It could be like [00:38:00] CDC data. Stuff that’s published from the government. There is a lot of data that is readily available on the internet that you’re going to have to Google or to find, but you can definitely get access to.

And so if you want to do research a great way to do that is to find this data and kind of analyze it in your own way. And then that way, if you like, make sure that people haven’t analyzed it in the way that you’re thinking of. So like for example I’ll stick with the mental health disorders in the criminal justice system.

Maybe they haven’t looked at how it particularly affects pregnant women. So then based off of the data that’s available, like readily available, I’m look into like analyzing data in that way. You, there are a lot of if you don’t have a consistent score analysis background, there are a lot of free courses at the elbow.

Like whether it’s YouTube or. Like Coursera, things like that. So you can definitely get the background and how to analyze data readily available on the internet for free. And then you have the data. And so really all you [00:39:00] have to do is identified the gap, analyze, and then you have a research project right there.

Let’s see, where could I go?

Wrong thing. Wait, what did I do? Okay, there you go. I’m a junior with no signs for experience. I want to enter one, but isn’t it a bit late for that. So usually science first and I forgot to mention this science for has happened in the spring semester. So it might be like. Tablet, wait, I’m not sure I could whip something up in the next two months or so for the upcoming science fair.

And I’ll be completely honest. I don’t know how the upcoming science per season is going to go. I’m just speaking from personal experience. When I see the science fair that I judged at was this past spring. [00:40:00] And since our. Like county are my middle and high school are very involved in science there. It was something that they wanted to continue.

So we actually moved it to an online platform and we were able, we did it all in two days. And then we were able to do the judging virtually for regional and state. I’m not really sure what happened with international, but if you’re able to come up with a project in the next two months or so, it doesn’t have to be complete.

Like you can definitely still be in like the running, like going through stages. Like maybe you’re like at the result, like stage and you haven’t really drawn conclusions yet. It doesn’t have to be a complete, usually the competitions are in March. So like for us, we have like our school competition in January.

So we just had to have some idea to present January. But like you have until March, you really do have a couple of months, so it’s not too late, so long-winded answer. But basically it is not too late to do a science for if you want to. Let’s see.[00:41:00]

Okay. This is a good question.

Yeah. I’m always worried. I don’t have enough skills and that’s why I haven’t reached out to professors yet. Do you have any suggestions? Okay. So I will tell you a little bit about my story. And then go from that. So I told you guys that I, in high school, I did bench research, but in college I want to do clinical research and health policy, but I’ve never done that before.

And I had zero knowledge of how policy, cause I was still like a sophomore, but it didn’t stop me from reaching out because I knew that. The part of the process of doing research is learning. So if I really showcase my interest and just my like honest passion in that topic people will take a chance on me.

And so I definitely got rejected by a couple of people, but I was I signed up for [00:42:00] this nonprofit and asked to be a part of an internship. And they took a chance on me, even though I didn’t know the difference between Medicaid and Medicare, but after like just doing a month of very much like a lot of research, they threw a lot of webinars at me, a lot of papers and just like really absorbing all that information.

I was prepared to quote unquote, you mean you’re always learning when you do research and are part of design and working through the scientific method. I was finally ready. I analyze something I’m interested in such as adverse childhood experiences and how it affected or how it related to Tennessee’s top healthcare crises.

And I know it it seems like you don’t have enough skills but really the worst that they can do is not respond or say no, gotten a lot of those. It hurts. It definitely does. But it’s more, it’s just about pushing through and someone will take a chance on you because professors that’s why they teach.

But even like researchers, they’re just so excited that someone else is excited about their [00:43:00] research. And so honestly, if you like show them, do your research about their research beforehand, and really share that in that email and set up that informational call and really showcase your interests. You can definitely get somewhere with that, even if they don’t have an expense.

You can ask, oh are there any, do you know anyone who’s looking for people to do research or do you know any opportunities, even if you don’t have any and they might connect you to other people? For me to find my clinical research experience, I was bounced around by six different individuals.

Like they were like, oh, I don’t have something or connected to this person. And then that person’s I don’t have anything and they’ll connect me to the next person. And I did that for six different people until I ended up at my research experience. It really very much is a journey, but someone will take a chance on you.



where did I do my summer research internship? So I was very fortunate that my in my town, there was a. Program called the James Graham brown cancer center. It’s very known a cancer center that has a summer research experience for both high school students and college students. So that’s where I did my summer research program and it was very like small and intimate very focused on people in my state and surrounding states.

And it was like an eight week internship that I went through for nine to five every single day. And then through that I worked, I did a group project. So I worked with two other individuals the, of my age in the lab. And then in the end we did a poster presentation. But when I talked about initiative, I asked if I can continue the research project.

And if I could, since I did an ODL bit of exploration in during the summer, so it’s like, can I like explore metastasis a little further? So that was me [00:45:00] taking initiative, me coming up with my own idea and then being able to pursue that.

Okay, other questions?

Okay. This is a good question. Let’s see. Oh, wait. No, my bad. Sorry. Okay.

Okay, then research versus group research. Excellent question. Honestly, you can’t go wrong either way, but it’s very important to consider what kind of research you’re doing. So I always did in terms of like science fair in high school, I always did an individual project, but I have pretty good friends that did group projects.

And my brother in particular did both individual and group projects, but it’s very important to [00:46:00] consider what the actual workload is. Is it a project that can be done by yourself or is it a project that really does require two people? Because if you’re doing a project that really doesn’t require, like the more manpower, there’s really no point of having a group project.

But if you’re doing a project that really requires the thoughts and the work of multiple individuals, then yeah. So I guess a great opportunity to work with your friends, people that you get along with. And it’s also a great way to develop teamwork and collaboration skills that are going to be huge assets.

Whether you go into research, the medical field pretty much any field that you’re interested in. So really there’s really no way you can go wrong, but it’s important to consider what the needs of that project is before actually deciding whether or not you want to do a group. She.

Okay this is a little hard for me to answer, like on the spot, but I’m going to try to think. So what are some specific online resources that are helped you in your research? [00:47:00] How can I play my project? Thank you in advance. So I feel like it’s a little difficult for me to answer this question because I’m not very sure, like what exactly like, like what kind of research you’re trying to do, if you’re trying to do something where you like analyze the data that’s readily available on the internet or yeah, I’m not very sure about what kind of research you want to do, but in general like the NIH, the NCBI website is so helpful to get access to peer reviewed, published research.

So you really understand the research better. And also what else wrinkle was scarred for this little, for like background research in terms of like actually planning my project. Frankly, I do my own thing every single time. And so I honestly can’t, I can’t really think of any resources on the top of my head.

I use like a lot of different things. If I’m working on a presentation like I use like Canva and there’s something called Pictor chart and things like [00:48:00] that to make a presentation and even like Microsoft PowerPoint has gone really good with their presentations, but it really depends on what exactly you’re looking for.

So I’m not really sure how to answer that. Okay. Let’s see.

Yes. Do I have examples of online programs for high school students during this time? Yes. So once again, it’s very important for you to do your own research about what is available at different universities and hospitals and programs across the country. But one that I was looking at like earlier today was that Seattle.

And they were, it was like the Seattle hospital, but they were still having a virtual internship this past summer. And that was one of my COVID was really like ramping up. And I like highly recommend that you just take some time to just Google, like whatever university you’re interested in and then Research opportunities for high school students.

And a lot of them have been [00:49:00] transferred to virtual settings. You just, you might not find anything during the school year and it might just be limited to some experience, but definitely there are available. It’s just, it’s very hard for me to tell you specifically which programs to apply for it.

Cause I don’t know like what state you’re in whether or not you want to pay for the research experience. What are, what you want to get paid, where if you want to do it for free, but a lot of these programs that I mentioned size earlier have transferred to an online settings. So definitely can find something that works for you.

Oh. Oh, okay. That’s helpful. Thank you. So to the person that. Asked about specific online resources and you met specifically CS research. Okay. So I’m still like, not 100% sure. But if you’re asking about like programming like in terms of learning different languages and things like that, something that I have found really useful for undergraduate research is to know how to use [00:50:00] our like a particular kind of program.

And so there’s something called data camp which has been really helpful for me to learn how to use that program. And once again, I’m not still not sure if I’m answering your question, but if there is like statistical like analysis or a certain kind of program, you need to know how to do for your research with data, camp might be a great way to do that.

Or there’s another one. I don’t remember its name off the top of my head, but there are a lot of readily available resources to learn how to do data analysis and data campus when it comes to my house.

Oh, okay.

Wait, what did they do?


Okay. Oh, wait, that was [00:51:00] not to the right. Whoops, my bad. Sorry. Okay. How do you find non-profit research organizations? So once again, this is where you have to do the research, but I do on my end. I’m like if you’re in Tennessee in particular, not very sure if they have experiences for high school students.

So once again, where your research has to come in, but the Sycamore Institute in particular is a nonprofit research based organization. And so there are organizations like that available across the country. So depending on the state honestly, I might look up non-profit research organization in Alzheimer’s nonprofit research organization, diabetes, and I put your location as well.

And then that way you can see if you find any particular organizations that pop up. There are a lot of regional ones. There are some national ones, so you’re definitely, you should be able to find something that works for you. But the Sycamore Institute is the only one that came to the top of my head.

Cause that’s something that I’ve looked up in the past.[00:52:00] Okay. Oh no. Oh, there we go. No.

How about college admissions? Look at these experience. Okay. Generally, I think any research experience is a very favorite favor, a bully. Yes. That’s how you say the word. And that’s because a lot of the institutions like top 50 top 100 are research-based institutions. Like for example, Vanderbelt while there is known for its liberal arts education is very much a research based institution.

Most professors are being researched on the side. And so that’s something that they do want students to help out with when you get into college. And so having research experiences in the past will definitely be worked out very favorably. And also another thing to keep in mind is that once again, that’s an experience that you did outside of school.

And so it’s showing that you’ve taken an initiative that you’re really interested in a topic and that you know [00:53:00] how to get yourself involved in that topic. And so that’s always going to be beneficial. Disclose will translate. Very much, both hard and soft skills in your college journey.

We my bad one second.

Oh, this is a good question. Okay. I think this might be the last question, depending on how long it takes for me to answer it. Oh, that was not. Here we go. How does a student come up with a considerable research plan or science for project while maintaining good grades, participating at the athletics and voluntary.

And now that is an excellent question. I can tell you that I did it. I really felt like it was hard. And so I think very much something that’s very important is to set boundaries. So when it comes to research, you’re probably going to [00:54:00] find yourself putting a lot of time and effort into that research opportunity.

And so for me, like I told you, I spent three to four hours on a regular basis working on it’s not okay. I was going to tell on a daily basis, honestly, it was like three to four times a week going to the lab and working. But the thing is when I’m at the lab, there’s a lot of downtime. Like when you’re.

Growing cells or waiting for something to dry. There’s so much downtime. That’s when I would do a book of my homework. So that’s good way to maintain good grades, use the downtime that you have our research. I’m doing research, especially in lab based research to do your homework. I’m participating in like athletics and like extra credit activities.

I will also focused on one or two activities. I didn’t try to take on too much because research was going to be a significant time commitment. There were days where like I’m in and I’m sure all of you guys can relate. There were days that like, I woke up at five and I didn’t come home until nine or 10, because I was also a dancer.

So like after research I [00:55:00] would go to dance practice. And so those days happen, but it’s very important to limit what you like to focus your time and energy on. So if research is something that you really want to put a big focus and emphasis on, then it that’s, what’s going to be, and therefore you shouldn’t spend, like you shouldn’t do like more than two or three activities, like actually kill your or like athletics, because it’s just going to be too much to handle.

And then volunteering. I did that on the weekends cause I wasn’t going into the lab on the weekends. So that was how I was able to balance all of those things. It’s just going to be a very it’s going to be difficult. It’s going to be different for each individual. But it’s just important to also set some boundaries between each activity and like how long you work and things like that because mental health comes first and if you’re not feeling healthy, how can you actually balance all of this?

Okay. Okay. I think that we’re at eight o’clock I think that I’m done answering questions. So that was the end of the webinar. I had a really great time telling you about [00:56:00] research and science fairs, and I hope that this webinar was helpful for you and that you feel more prepared with your college applications.

And I’ll keep this information about me just in case you miss it at the beginning, or if you want to learn more about working with either like with me on SS and also, I totally forgot to talk about this in particular. One second. Sorry. So both side has two advising plans to start a plan in the scars plan. And they’re both monthly subscriptions where you can get matched with an advisor of your choice and you can get one or two hours of one-on-one advising each month. And as advisors we’ll work with you on your college essays, choosing schools, interviews, and more and so on, sending everyone on this panel link to get started.

And so this offer links us to our page to sign up and get started. And the students that goes, I have a ton of success working with an advisor and this past admission season, we’ve had clients get into all of the IVs and every top 25 school in the country and our clients [00:57:00] rate us as nine. Eight out of 10 and that’s because we, as advisors put a lot of time and care into the work that we’re doing with you, one-on-one through every step of your application process.

So if you want to discuss one a meal one-on-one with me at any time, this is a great chance to work with us. And so that’s the link three.

Oh yeah. So I’m going to if we look at the chat really quickly, I’m going to paste the link.

Here we go.

Okay. And then yes, once again, information about me, if you missed it in the beginning. And if I didn’t get to your question, we’ll send out a feedback form later to keeping we can add additional questions. [00:58:00] And then also please give us feedback to let us know how we can improve our webinars.


And then lastly, we have our next webinar on October 22nd, 27th and it will be on performing arts and musical theater. And then along with that, we have our entire approver series linked right here. And it’s also on the website and you will get redirected to it when you leave this session, but in general, thank you so much for coming out to taste panel.

I hope you all stay safe and good luck with your applications and also hope that you’re able to get some information. I was able to help you out in some form or fashion, but yes, once again, thank you so much. Have a great rest of your okay.[00:59:00]