This story was originally published in the Fall 2010 issue of Harker Quarterly
For several students, summer presents many exciting learning opportunities in the form of internships. Last year students interned at places such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis and Riedel Labs, where they were involved with projects that included analyzing the chemical makeup of far-off galaxies, assisting with virus screening tests, working in a bioengineering lab and more.
This year, several students again embarked on exciting internships at a wide variety of places, including microbiology and psychology at Stanford University, the department of chemistry at U.C. Santa Cruz and Artificial Muscle, Inc., a Sunnyvale-based company that specializes in creating components for touch-based devices such as smartphones, PC mice and touchscreens.
Roshni Bhatnagar, grade 12, interned at the Stanford psychophysiology lab under Dr. James Gross. She and her colleague, a graduate student putting together her dissertation, “studied the relationship between local brain volume and emotion regulation strategies.” She also learned about various brain structures and took a class on affective neuroscience, “which really complemented the work I was doing in the lab.” Bhatnagar particularly enjoyed delving into the literature about the part of the brain that was the focus of her project, the insula. “Reading papers about the insula and its function was really fascinating,” she said.
Another senior, Jerry Sun, was an intern at Artificial Muscle, where he helped put together an experiment that compared the tear strengths of two types of polymers. “With guidance from our mentor as well as other employees at the company, we planned the experiment and collected and analyzed the resulting data,” Sun said. “I learned a lot about what corporate research was like, particularly in the material science field. This was also my first job, so going to work every day was a new experience for me.