A partnership between Meredith College and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) is proving beneficial for both schools. The partnership provides opportunities for students from the high school for academically gifted students to work with Meredith College faculty and students on research.
In 2013, Meredith research teams paired with six NCSSM students on environmental sustainability research. Meredith faculty members Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Karthik Aghoram, Professor of Biological Sciences Francie Cuffney, Professor of Nutrition Bill Landis, and Assistant Professor of Geoscience Matt Stutz led research projects with four Meredith undergraduate students. Topics included the effects of drought stress on crops, stream flow and erosion, and an analysis of vitamin levels in organic versus non-organic plants.
The research teams worked together for five weeks, averaging 40 hours of work per week.
“The [NCSSM] students were very engaged in their work and made significant progress. This was really evident when each of the groups gave a final progress report of their work,” said Professor of Chemistry Walda Powell, who coordinated the partnership with Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Erin Lindquist. “The faculty and the students expressed satisfaction in the amount of work that was accomplished in the five weeks.”
Meredith students gained the opportunity to work in a larger research team along with a faculty mentor. Another benefit, especially for those who plan to teach, was the opportunity to train younger students in research methods.
In addition to the research partnerships, Meredith faculty members have presented at NCSSM as part of the school’s colloquium series, providing additional opportunities to introduce students at NCSSM to Meredith.
Plans are in place to continue the partnership in Summer 2014.
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of Meredith Magazine.