Montana State University

Students from a dozen Montana communities do summer research at MSU

August 26, 2005

Back row: Alayna Lefthand, Cinnamon Spear, Orlanda BirdinGround, Joen Wallace, Sophie Bouyer, Jade WalksAlong, Molly Spang, Antonio Farmer, Mary Jo Russell, Zhona Joi Tang, Rachelle Baker, Kelly Crawford, Chris Burdeau. Front row: Sunny Whiteman, Mike Doyle, Frank Half Red, Blake Wombold, Davida Stewart, Glenn Tyson, Maria Russell   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
For six weeks, 21 Native American high school students from Montana researched a variety of science and engineering topics from a greenhouse wetland to Sony's newest handheld video game.

Students from a dozen Montana communities joined Montana State University's summer Montana Apprenticeship Program sponsored jointly by MSU's American Indian Research Opportunities and the Designing Our Community programs.

Aside from tasting a bit of college life and dorm food, the teenagers spent mornings working on college prep activities that included math, chemistry, biology, engineering, writing and computer skills. Afternoons meant time in research labs with mentors. The students had free time to hike, swim and explore.

"The purpose of this program is to introduce career options in science and engineering to students from rural communities," said Sheree Watson, assistant program director for Designing Our Community, a program to recruit and retain Native American students. "They get exposure to career options with academic rigor. They learn what to expect in a college-level class, and they are introduced to the research experience."

MSU is one of nine universities in the United States that receives funding for the College of Engineering apprenticeship program from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation's Engineering Schools of the West Initiative. Students apply in the spring and are selected based on their interest in math and science and their academic preparation.

The students from your area and their research topics included:

Glenn Tyson, incoming MSU freshman, "The effects of manufacturing tolerances on a microwave power distribution module."

Frank Half Red, high school junior, "ECE Robots."

Chris Burdeau, incoming MSU freshman, "Sony PSP Attacks from the Sky."

Jade WalksAlong, high school junior, "Variance in the Relative Positions of Identified Mechanosensory: Hairs in the Cricket."
Zhona Joi Tang, high school junior, "Oxidative Stress and Microbial Growth: Lake Vostak vs. Lake Bonney, Antarctica."

Crow Agency
Orlanda BirdinGround, high school junior, "The Production of Green Fluorescent Protein."
Davida Stewart, high school senior, "Structural Studies of Suifolobus Spindle Virus RH: A Thermophilic Acidophilic Virus from Yellowstone National Park."
Joen Wallace, high school junior, "Behavioral Responses of the Wheat Stem Sawfly, Cephus Cinctus Norton (Hyumenoptera: Cephidae), to Chemical Compounds."

Great Falls
Rachelle Baker, incoming University of Arizona freshman, "Developing Inorganic Glue to Effectively Affix Bacteria to a Glass Surface."

Mike Doyle, incoming MSU freshman, "Counting the Dead and Alive."

Heart Butte
Kelly Crawford, incoming MSU freshman, "The viscoelasticity properties of biofilm."
Mary Jo Russell, high school junior, "Evaluation of the Influence of pH and Electron Shuttling Compounds on TCE Reduction by Zero Valent Iron."
Blake Wombold, high school senior, "Life in a Greenhouse Wetland."

Lame Deer
Antonio Farmer, high school senior, "Can Gyratory Compaction be Used Instead of the Proctor Test for Soil Compaction?"
Maria Russell, high school junior, "Reaction of a Pentacovalent Phosphorus Reagent with an Imine Electrophe."
Molly Spang, high school junior, "Fuel Cells."
Cinnamon Spear, incoming freshman at Dartmouth College, "Creating a fluorescent protein library for imaging biofilm communities."

Lodge Grass
Alayna Lefthand, high school senior, "Harvesting Energy Using Piezoelectric Polymers."

Sophie Bouyer, high school junior, "Fuel Cells."
Sunny Whiteman, high school junior, "Detection of Coliform Bacteria in Subglacial Meltwaters."

St. Ignatius
Taylor Lipscomb, high school senior, "Cloning Mutated Genomic DNA of Streptococcus Pyogenes."

See related story at:

Contact Sheree Watson (406) 994-6723