Six high school students from the Stockholm area spent two weeks at ACES as part of Summer Research Academy (‘sommarforskarskola’) organised by the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Stockholm University. The students attended seminars, went on a field excursion and ran experiments in the lab.
Research Academy at Stockholm University takes place in June every year. It has been running for 30 years straight and involves four academic divisions, namely Biology, Physics, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Chemistry. It has been proved a very popular concept with young people interested in natural sciences with 750 applications this year alone. “Highschool students are an important group for us as they could potentially come back to study here,” says Angeta Norén, researcher and project leader of Research Academy. She continues: ” Our goal is to show students how exciting research in natural sciences can be whilst presenting our scientists.”
During their two weeks at ACES, the six students carried out a project in ecotoxicology supervised by PhD student Maria Bighiu. he aim of the project was to measure mixture toxicity of metals on aquatic snails (Theodoxus fluviatilis) and to compare snails from different sites in their ability to adapt to pollution. The students collected snails at the nearby Brunnsviken lake which they then exposed to copper and zinc in the lab.
So, how did the students do? “The results look good! It was both exciting and challenging to work with young students who have different backgrounds and little lab experience. I think they were all hard-working and did a great job!”says Maria Bighiu who finds’forskarskola’ an excellent opportunity for highschool students to get their hands on ‘real-life’ academic research.
What did the students think of their two weeks at ACES?
Tara Ali, 20, an aspiring medical doctor says that one should always strive to better onself. “I really enjoyed the seminars and lab work. We learnt a little of bit of biology, chemistry and environmental science. It was also great to meet other fellow students.” Meanwhile, getting a taste of the research world was what convinced 18-year-old Martin Troberg to apply. “For me, the best thing was working in the lab. It was really cool!”