Learning by Doing

Learning by Doing

Sep 23
Kathy Partlow, Research and Grant Development Specialist

This August the ACES Office of Research Summer Internship Program completed its 7th year.  So far, 70 undergraduates have gained the experience of taking a research project from concept to completion addressing real problems in Illinois and beyond.  Originally just taking place at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, the program has expanded to three additional sites over the last three summers, including the Orr Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center, University of Illinois Extension in Chicago, and St. Charles Horticulture Research Center. Starting in the spring semester, the interns work closely with their faculty advisors on campus, mentors at the research sites, and stakeholders in the surrounding communities to design their experiments and prepare for the 11-week internship. 

This summer 14 interns not only gained a one-of-a-kind experience, but also in just a short time were able to make a contribution to the communities each site serves.  Those impacts wouldn’t be possible without the time and input from the faculty advisors, mentors, and stakeholders that are the foundation of the program.  The students were able to share their results in various venues including on-site for mid-term presentations and field days, as well as on-campus for the final presentation.  Neal Merchen, Associate Dean for Research, told the interns that there is no better way to learn than by doing.  The experience is a unique way for them to become well-rounded, develop skills outside of book learning, and make a contribution to some of the College’s off-campus activities. 

You can find more details about the research conducted over the summer in our newsletter and about the program in general on our website.  We will have information sessions about the program on Oct. 8th and 15th and applications for next summer will be due Oct. 31st.

ACES Office of Research 2014 Summer Interns