Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass offers high school students a chance at polymer research

By Collegian News Staff

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The University of Massachusetts Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) is accepting applications from high school students interested in gaining first-hand laboratory research experience.

The Center will give the students the opportunity to work on polymer research in the lab in the 11th year of the ASPIRE program, which will start next January and February.

The program consists of a series of experiments and laboratory-based discussions conducted by UMass graduate students in the Polymer Science and Engineering Program designed for high school students.

ASPIRE meets for five straight Saturdays, with this year’s session kicking off Jan. 9 and concluding Feb. 13.

According to the ASPIRE page on the Polymer Science and Engineering website, the program’s goal is to give high school students introductions to various disciplines of science they would not be exposed to in the classroom.

Students who wish to enroll in the program need a recommendation from a local high school science teacher, and space is limited to 15 students per year.

The department advises students and their families who wish to participate in the ASPIRE course to attend the department’s once-monthly outreach lecture, which is given for kindergarten through grade 12 students, to get an introduction to the department and learn about its functions.

Seniors are given highest priority for enrollment, but juniors and sophomores may also apply to participate.

Application forms can be found on the program’s website at, and can be faxed to Greg Dabrowski, ASPIRE and Outreach advisor, at 413-545-0082. 

– Collegian News Staff

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