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Summer is for Science! SCSD Students Complete Summer Physics Internships at SU

This is a photo of a group of SU Physics interns, standing in a row, each holding a certificate of achievement.ITC seniors Miranda Azemi and Khoudia Cisse experimented to see the effect that antibiotic has on bacteria. PSLA at Fowler senior Syan Castro examined the swarming and growth of the bacteria SM3. Nottingham senior Arlo Milstein focused on subatomic particles, working on particle detection and liquid argon time projection chambers.
This summer, twelve SCSD students – representing Corcoran, Henninger, ITC, Nottingham and PSLA at Fowler – participated in the Syracuse University Research in Physics program (SURPh). For six weeks, the students worked full-time in research labs, where they studied biophysics, astronomy, and computational physics. The Syracuse University Physics Department provided the students with initial training and then matched students with a lab that met their interests. The University also provided door-to-door transportation for the students, meals, and a generous stipend, provided by National Science Foundation grants.
But for the student scientists, the opportunity was about so much more than the money. For Syan, the summer was all about immersing in the joy of science.
“As a kid, I was always interested in science,” she said. “I had a kid microscope and my sister would get me science kits. My Physics class in school taught me that there’s so much more to science than what the outside world thinks… there’s so much deep thinking involved and that fascinates me. This opportunity was amazing… it allowed me to understand how real scientists work and how they theorize.”
For Miranda Azemi, the experience helped connect her with others who share similar interests.
“I took my first Physics class junior year, and I surprisingly enjoyed it,” she said. “I’ve always loved Chemistry and I thought I’d major in Chemistry in college. But ever since my Physics class, I’ve been thinking of pursuing Physics or Biophysics. This has been such a cool experience, to be working in a lab with other students from other schools… we really built a community.”
Arlo stressed the influence that his high school physics teacher had on him – noting that it was through the teacher that he learned of the summer internship opportunity… and discovered his passion.
“I came in wanting to go into Physics, and this really reaffirmed that,” he said. “It’s been an incredible experience. I can’t recommend it enough as a STEM opportunity. We touched on engineering and math and all aspects of STEM. The chance to be in this community of future academics… it’s been amazing. I never imagined I’d be working so closely with a professor at this age! It’s been such an amazing deep dive into science and into the field that I want to work in in the future.”
Thank you to the SU Physics Department for their partnership in offering students the opportunity to intern in their labs for the second year in a row. What a wonderful #SCSDSummerLearning opportunity – and a chance to help students become #SCSDCollegeReady!
Anthony Q. Davis, Superintendent
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
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