COSAM News Articles 2021 June High school students gain hands-on experience in laboratories in the Summer Science Institute

High school students gain hands-on experience in laboratories in the Summer Science Institute

Published: 06/15/2021

By: Maria Gebhardt

“Being part of the Summer Science Institute has given me an opportunity to make and test a battery in a lab setting,” said Tina Nguyen from Lamp High School in Montgomery. “I have never been able to do this before and it has been an amazing experience for me.”

More than a dozen rising juniors and seniors from across the state were part of the week-long 2021 Summer Science Institute hosted by the Office of Outreach in the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM). Students are able to attend at no cost with all fees being financed by faculty grants and other sponsoring organizations at Auburn University.

These students lived on-campus at Auburn University just as if they were enrolled students. They participated in an array of classes taught by energetic COSAM faculty in the same classrooms and labs as undergraduate students.

“I really liked how we were able to apply biology to engineering principles during our class project,” explained Samantha Schoenfelg from Forsyth Central High School in Georgia. “Being able to integrate these topics gave me new perspective to pursue a career in STEM.”

These students built batteries, learned about plant genomics, calculated frequencies of notes on a musical scale, assembled lipids, discussed quantum chemistry and more. 

Vicki Wang from Auburn High School and Audrey Mcelroy from Forsyth Central High School in Georgia learned about acoustical physics during a class taught by COSAM Dean Nicholas J. Giordano.

“This really helped me visualize how musical notes are determined,” Mcleroy said. “I haven’t played a recorder since third grade and this was so much fun.”

To learn more about the Summer Science Institute, contact COSAM’s Assistant Director of Outreach Veronica Morin at

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