PROTECT Hosts Local High School Students through Young Scholars Program

L to R: Mentor Dr. Ljiljana Rajic,  Young Scholar Ian McGregor, and Young Scholar Amrita Sridhar

L to R: Mentor Dr. Ljiljana Rajic, Young Scholar Ian McGregor, and Young Scholar Amrita Sridhar

This summer, PROTECT Principal Investigator and co-Director Akram Alshawabkeh hosted two local high school seniors as part of the Young Scholars Program (YSP) organized by Northeastern University’s Center for STEM Education.  The program was created to provide opportunities for hands-on research to high school juniors and seniors in the Boston area. Alshawabkeh’s hosted scholars, Amrita Sridhar of Boston University Academy and Ian McGregor of Boston College High School, were able to engage in research related to groundwater remediation over the course of the month-long summer program. Each scholar shared some information about themselves as well as their thoughts on the program upon completion.

Amrita Sridhar is a senior with hopes of pursuing a degree in chemical engineering and/or environmental engineering in college. She says that applying for YSP was something that she hoped would allow her to “participate in scientific research and gain exposure to different scientific career paths.” Amrita speaks highly of her experience in the program, stating that interning in Dr. Alshawabkeh’s lab under the guidance of Dr. Rajic was “phenomenal.”  She also says that the experience allowed her to “learn a tremendous amount about novel approaches to groundwater remediation, the research process, and working collaboratively in a lab.”

Ian McGregor is a senior and member of the rowing team, Model United Nations, and Bipartisanship Club. Ian says that he has “always been interested in science and engineering,” but, until taking part in YSP, was never afforded the opportunity to work in a laboratory. Prior to this summer, Ian was considering pursing a degree in the STEM field in college, but he wanted to discover if he would enjoy the research process. Ian shared that learning was definitely something he was able to accomplish, stating that “During my summer at Northeastern as part of the PROTECT Center, I met friendly and supportive mentors, learned about new fields of research, and experienced what it is like to do real research.” Ian further expressed the impact working with the PROTECT Center has had on him by stating “I am very grateful to have participated in the program because I gained invaluable new skills, and I am now considering pursuing engineering in college.”