During the summer of 2018, Southern University–Baton Rouge (SUBR) hosted six rising high-school seniors from the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM). Currently enrolled in either GSSM’s residential program or its Accelerate engineering program, the students who participated were Austin Geer, Collen Mims, Doyle Hayden, Lamar Richards, Leighton O’Dell, and Malik Hubbard. Dr. Ershela Sims, GSSM’s Senior Vice President for Virtual & Outreach Programs, and Dr. Anthony D. Stewart, Assistant Professor of Physics and Director of SUBR’s Electrochemistry and Energy Research Laboratory (EERL), supervised the GSSM students as they conducted research alongside four SUBR undergraduates, each of whom was working in the EERL as a Consortium for Materials and Energy Studies (CMaES) intern.
Within their research teams, the high-school students concentrated on projects designed to demonstrate the interplay among physics, chemistry, materials science, and biomedical engineering. Research topics included growing and optimizing titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanostructures using electrodeposition techniques and investigating the mechanical properties and failure characteristics of alternative dental archwire materials. The collaboration between the two institutions proved a huge success with both GSSM students and SUBR undergraduates.
As Malik Hubbard, a resident of Charleston, SC, and a student in GSSM’s Accelerate program, noted, “I learned multiple vital laboratory and research skills during this trip, from formulating scientifically strong experiments to safely handling hazardous materials. I definitely have interest in doing research as an undergrad. I’m also very excited to conduct research as a graduate student. I learned a lot on this trip.”