Lauren Chen, from Dutch Fork High School, Irmo was among 82 top achieving U.S. high school and international scholars at the 36th annual Research Science Institute (RSI), jointly sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). RSI is a six-week program that gives students the opportunity to conduct original science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research in state-of-the-art university laboratories, hospitals and corporate research facilities in Boston and Cambridge, MA. 

“The Research Science Institute offers top academic math and science students the opportunity to experience graduate-level research and camaraderie with other talented STEM scholars,” said Joann P. DiGennaro, CEE President. “RSI has 2,800 successful alumni with a STEM career retention rate of 80 percent.”

In addition to their individualized research, the students—dubbed “Rickoids” after the late Admiral H.G. Rickover, father of the Nuclear Navy and founder of the Center with DiGennaro—also study pure and applied mathematics, physical and biological science, economics and humanities. 

RSI scholars also learn about the careers, achievements and challenges of STEM through presentations and dialogue in RSI’s Distinguished Guest Lecture Series. Recognized STEM leaders will share their experiences with RSI scholars.

RSI is offered cost-free by CEE to competitively selected top achieving students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students are selected by CEE’s committee of professional educators and RSI alumni based on high school records, personal essays, standardized test scores, teacher recommendations, research experience, potential for leadership, and honors and awards in math and science.  

The RSI annual summer program (June 23 to August. 3) consists of one week of theoretical classroom work, followed by four-and-a-half weeks of high-level research under the mentorship of leading scientists, engineers, and researchers in the students’ respective areas of interest. In their final week, students demonstrate their research work through written academic papers and oral presentations to their peers and a panel of judges.

In addition to 52 U.S. high school rising seniors, 30 international students are participating from Bulgaria, Canada, China, India, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey at RSI 2019.

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