Summer Institute

Program Description

The RENCI Summer Institute engages students in hands-on learning activities, career exploration and networking with science professionals, and skill building in advanced computing technologies. Students work together with scientists, researchers, engineers and developers to explore concepts in computer science, biology, chemistry, electronics and robotics.

RENCI’s first summer institute, held July 16 – 27, 2007, involved 13 students from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, a statewide residential magnet school in Durham, NC. The students worked in groups solving problems related to a hypothetical biological/chemical disaster. One group focused on chemistry and biology: identifying a chemical nerve agent, its properties and the impact on human health. A second group solved computing and technological problems related to the disaster: building instruments and computer programs that measure and model contamination levels and calculate different outcomes.

The students also participated in an Industry Day and a University Day, where they learned about career opportunities in both business and academia. For Industry Day, the students took a field trip to IBM and the Research Triangle Institute International (RTI International) in Research Triangle Park. University Day included a visit to the robotics lab at Duke University.

The institute completed its program with presentations from the students on their projects and an awards ceremony.

For more information, contact Stephenie McLean, education and outreach director at (919) 445-9661or at