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    Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory Hosts High School and College Summer Interns

    Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory Hosts High School and College Summer Interns

    Photo By Erica Casper | Groton, Conn. (Aug. 12, 2021). Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory (NSMRL)...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Naval Medical Research Command

    GROTON, Conn. (NNS) Summer interns presented research projects to the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory (NSMRL) on Aug. 12 and 13.

    NSMRL offers internship opportunities every summer to high school and college students through the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Science and Engineering Apprentice Program (SEAP) and Naval Research Enterprise Intern Program (NREIP).

    SEAP provides competitive research internships to high school students, and NREIP offers these opportunities to college students. NSMRL has two NREIP alums on staff; they provided guidance, mentorship, and direction to the students.

    This summer’s high school interns were rising seniors from East Lyme High School, Southington High School and the Center for Global Studies at Brien McMahon High School. A rising senior from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology returned for a second internship.

    This year’s intern projects included building low cost, autonomous aerial vehicles, programming robot ears to work like human ears, and modeling potential injuries to divers.

    During their internships, the students designed their own projects, worked with senior scientists at the command, and refined their presentation skills, culminating in the all-hands presentations to showcase their experience and accomplishments.

    Dr. Brandon Casper, a research physiologist, coordinated this year’s internship program. “We had an exceptional group of interns this year. I’m always impressed by the caliber and dedication of the interns we get from these programs, and this year, they were no exception,” said Casper. “They were committed and engaged, and each completed the summer with a successful outcome. I have no doubt that they will all excel in their future careers.”

    Dr. Jeffery Bolkhovsky, a research physiologist and mentor to the interns, said of the program, “We help the interns to develop individual projects that match their interests and contribute to larger research efforts at the lab. We task them with the responsibility of leading their own individual projects. While we are still there to guide them, they take the lead, which helps them prepare for a future STEM career.”

    While the students’ main focus during the internship is their research projects, they gain other valuable experience. Bolkhovsky explained, “One of the major parts of the internships every year is getting the students to practice and refine their presentation skills. While the science is important, it is equally as important to be able to communicate your work and results to others.”

    Ryan, one of the high school interns who worked on developing a remote-operated aerial vehicle, shared some of what he learned during the summer: “I initially thought that scientific research was always studying new fields and discovering entirely new information, but I have realized that much of it is building off of and expanding upon previous studies. I also had a preconceived notion that researchers enter the field knowing everything they need to know, but I realized that much of the research is also a learning process. From reading literature to interpreting your own findings, there's always something else to consider and factor into the development of the final product.”

    “Throughout the summer,” Dr. Bolkhovsky added, “we provide the interns with an opportunity to take a break from their projects and their research for philosophical and critical thinking lunches. These lunches consist of discussions about the philosophy of science, cognitive biases, and analytical tools to use during research. We challenge the interns to critically think about the decisions they make and why they make them so that they can learn from both their mistakes and their triumphs.”
    NSMRL has a longstanding commitment to mentoring students in STEM fields, having participated in NREIP and SEAP for the past decade.

    NSMRL is a command under the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. Located on Naval Submarine Base New London, NSMRL’s mission is to sustain the readiness and superiority of our undersea warriors through innovative health and performance research.



    Date Taken: 09.13.2021
    Date Posted: 09.13.2021 15:16
    Story ID: 405114
    Location: GROTON, CT, US 

    Web Views: 599
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