Eight students will spend their summer at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) as part of the Wright Scholar Research Assistant Program. Half of the students, Allison Huffman '16, Will Huffman '16, Alex Jennison '16 and Ian Simon '16 are returning to the program for their second year. Abby Arestides '17, Duncan Burke '17, Austin Fuchs '17 and Tommy Krug '16 will be participating in the program for the first time.
"My oldest sister, Sarah '09, was accepted to participate in the Wright Scholar Research Assistant Program after her senior year at CJ," Krug said. "She was very excited about what she got to do over that summer and she is still working with people she connected with that summer. She would come home every day talking about what she learned and what new friends she made on a given day, and I knew that I wanted to follow in her footsteps."
"I am really excited for the opportunity and looking forward for the summer and the experience." reflected Arestides.
Each student will work with a mentor in a specific area of the AFRL. Students this year will be working in the 711th Human Performance Wing, Aerospace Systems Directorate, and GRILL at TecEdge.
"I am working in the same area as last summer," Simon shared. "I had a great time last year and I wouldn't want to work anywhere else in the program."
Allison Huffman agreed, "I am also working in the same area as last year. I'm looking forward to my mentor again and being able to make more progress on our project."
Will Huffman, who will be working in the 711th Human Performance Wing again added, "I am very grateful to be given this opportunity again for this summer. I will be working with sensors in clothing and testing a flight helmet, so it is not exactly what I want to do in college but it is a chance to continue doing research, which I like."
The Wright Scholar Research Assistant Program, which began in 2002, is available to a limited number of high school juniors and seniors each summer. Students go through an application process and only a few applicants are selected for the internship. The program is paid as students work for 40 hours each week. Most students who participate in the program also have a desire to have a career in the STEM fields.
"The Wright Scholar Research Assistant Program is centered on STEM and I have always been interested in math and science," Fuchs explained. "Once I heard about the Wright Scholar Research Assistant Program, I knew it was an excellent opportunity not only to make money, but more importantly gain experience in career fields I want to go into."
Jennison added, "This experience will be very helpful for preparing for college. I will get hands on experience in the workplace, working in a team based setting, while working in the area that I will be studying in college."
Along with working in their specific area, students will attend weekly workshops, lectures featuring distinguished scientists and engineers, and take tours which in the past have included a visit to the Ohio State University's electrical engineering departments, the Air Force Museum and other AFRL locations.
In 2015, seven students from CJ were selected for the Wright Scholar Research Program. The high number of CJ students being accepted into this program year after year is something Burke said reflects the quality of education at the school.
"I think it really shows that CJ is on top of STEM in the area," Burke noted. "It says a lot about how good the academics are here and the importance of STEM at CJ."
You can learn more about the prestigious program here.
Posted May 9, 2016