Aug. 2, 2022

It is never too early to start the research process. This summer, 150 pre-college students, grades 9 through 11, started their process as a part of UNLV’s Upward Bound Math & Science Center Summer Program. The program specifically provides Clark County School District (CCSD) high school students who are low-income and/or first-generation students with services including tutoring, counseling, mentoring, college tours, and academic instruction. 

This year, to expand research involvement in program participants, the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) offered its first half-day, accelerated research boot camp on June 8. The boot camp trained, informed, and empowered students with research skills needed to become “research ready.” OUR offered a selection of its signature training workshops, including an introduction to research at UNLV, active reading development, and an overview of how to create a research poster presentation, all taught by OUR’s executive director Dr. Levent Atici. 

Jordyn Smith, senior at Desert Pines High School, said her knowledge of research developed over the summer. 

“I learned better techniques of how to conduct research, how to narrow down what exactly I’m looking for, and how to determine if what I am reading is accurate.”

To culminate the summer experience, the Center of Academic Enrichment and Outreach (CAEO), in partnership with OUR, hosted a two-hour Research Poster Presentation event on Tuesday, July 12 in the Student Union Ballrooms. 

Students presented a variety of research projects developed throughout the summer including social media’s impact on communication and technology’s impact on the healthcare system. In preparation for the event, OUR’s undergraduate researchers, Melika Cummings, Katherine Conklin, Vanessa Meza-Perez, Nader Nabeh, Kristian Thymianos, and Lydia Wolfe, provided weekly study hall mentorship to guide students on their research poster development.

Anastasia Hoisington, who attends Canyon Springs High School, said her knowledge of research was expanded through the Upward Bound Program. 

“Both Upward Bound and the Office of Undergraduate Research impacted how I presented research, as I’ve never had to put all my research on a poster before,” stated Anastasia. “OUR’s poster seminar was really well done and taught me things I didn’t even think about when it comes to designing research posters. I learned how to design a poster that looks visually appealing and maintains color consistency. The seminar also taught me to keep in mind how people look at and absorb information. I learned how to present my research in a catchy way so that I can highlight the important parts.”

John Loeyd Abril recapped his group’s research on how robots are changing the health care system. The Mojave High senior said by sorting and reading research papers, his group concluded that as technology progresses and improves over time, health care also progresses and improves.

Another Mojave High School student, De’Iari Jones, explained that his group’s research examined how social media damages our generation’s ability to communicate in-person.

“By using the knowledge gained through this intensive training I plan to use the poster as a reference for my future research projects,” said De’lari. 

Undergraduate students interested in exploring the research process and becoming research ready are invited to the upcoming OUR Summer 2022 Research Boot Camp on August 9 & 10, 2022. The two-day-long, in-person immersive event, geared towards incoming freshmen, transfer students, and novice undergraduate researchers, will entail undergraduate researcher showcases, faculty mentor presentations, professional development workshops, training sessions, and an introduction to UNLV’s cutting-edge research centers, institutions, laboratories, programs and facilities. To RSVP, please visit tinyurl.com/bootcamprsvp22