Solving the world’s problems by answering complex biochemistry questions sounds like a task reserved for experienced researchers who spend years in the lab to get results.
But for Forsyth County teen and Lambert High School senior Sivasai Manyapu, summer break and the opportunity to participate in a top summer research program was all it took to make his mark.
Through an intense 39-day research program held this summer at Purdue University called the Summer Science Program, Manyapu was able to use “wet lab” techniques and modeling software to study a fungal pathogen and design a “small molecule inhibitor” to protect crops from that fungus, according to a press release.
Along with 34 other top science students from around the world, Manyapu and his colleagues were able to work closely with university professors to get their first taste of hands-on collaborative experimental research, the release states.
“[The Summer Science Program] was truly an experience of a lifetime,” Manyapu said in an email to the Forsyth County News, recounting his recent experience. “Conducting real wet lab research, getting to do science with cool equipment most students don’t get to use till their undergraduate or graduate years, and most of all, working and bonding with 34 of some of the smartest, coolest, and most talented individuals were by far the coolest parts of the program.”
The release states that since 1959 this unique and highly selective program has offered students, “the educational experience of a lifetime” in conjunction with host campuses including New Mexico Tech, University of Colorado Boulder and Purdue.
Manyapu said that after spending six weeks in the program, he can attest that it is a one-of-a-kind experience for any student considering a career in the STEM field.
“This program was an amazing opportunity and I strongly encourage anyone who has a passion for science and is looking for ways to pursue their interests in STEM to apply,” he said. “[The Summer Science Program] is a one-of-a-kind experience and you only get one chance at it.”
For more information on the Summer Science Program visit summerscience.org.