Summary NSF ERC RMB REU Summer 2010 

During the summer of 2010 five undergraduate students and one Young Scholar received a summer research experience at NCAT in its NSF funded ERC RMB. The experience serves as an avenue to expose students to STEM as an effort to increase the pipeline into training of the future work force in scientific and technical fields. The summer’s 2010 research experiences for undergraduates (REUs) and Young Scholar (YS) was developed and implemented to introduce participants to leading edge research currently underway at the NSF ERC RMB. Also included were enrichment activities whose theme for the summer was innovation. These experiences were intended in part to fulfill the mission to enhance the background of the participants with a diverse experience connected with the Biomaterials field.
The research experiences for undergraduates were six weeks in duration from June 28 – August 6, 2010. The research and enrichment programming for the REUs and YS ran currently with a RET experience for K-14 teacher participants in the same labs and lead researchers. The undergraduate participants came from the partnering institution of California State University, Los Angeles, CA, and other off campus institutions. The off campus institutions consisted of locally located Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC and North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. The YS’s home institution was Guilford Technical Community College’s (GTCC) middle college located in High Point, NC. Each REU/YS was paired with a RET as a team headed by a lead research mentor (i.e., lead researcher) and a graduate student. REU/YS and RET participants had primary research responsibilities which were carried out over a six-week period. In addition to scientific research; weekly technical programs, enrichment activities were conducted, Also a off site trip was undertaken near the end of the summer’s programming. The overall theme for the activities was to feed into the central idea of the topic of innovation to broaden participant imagination in the area of Biomaterials.
REUs were limited to rising sophomores, juniors, seniors or recent graduates of community colleges, colleges and universities from accredited 2 or 4 year institutions. The YS was taken from a background equivalent to High school. The REUs had a paid mentored-research experience at the rate of $400/week. The YS was paid $100/week for the six week period. All the REUs were non-local participants which were provided additional support in the form of one round trip travel to/from the REU site. Also, on campus housing was provided to these non-local REU participants during the duration of the 6 week period.
The REUs and YS had the following affiliations:

Christopher Gardner
David Meza
Pooja Sarin
Dominique Tucker-Roberson
Amy Wat
Young Scholar
Najiyyah Phipps
Home Institution
NC State University, Raleigh, NC
California State University, Los Angeles
NC State University, Raleigh, NC
Bennett College for Women, Greensboro, NC
California State University, Los Angeles
GTCC Middle College, High Point, NC
An in depth assessment program was conducted by the ERC RMB’s Associate Director for Education Assessment assisted by the ERC RMB’s Education Assessment Specialist forming an assessment team. The assessments consisted of the following. Entrance and exit interviews were performed to assess the impact of the research experiences upon the REUs’ YS’s understanding of the Biomaterials field and upon their ways of thinking about creativity and innovation, diversity of thinking, and entrepreneurship. Also, satisfaction surveys were completed as enrichment programming was witnessed by the REUs and YS. Finally, for a major portion of the six weeks, a once a week focus group sessions were conducted by the assessment team. Currently, based on the participants impressions and satisfaction, feedback and insight were provided by the assessment team on issues the REUs and YS felt needed improvement.

The major feedback provided consisted of the following. Only one off site trip was conducted. The participants would have liked to have more than one bioscience related trip. The university’s internal administrative paperwork requiring completion for payment, travel, housing, meals, parking, etc. should be sent to the awardees with the communication granting the REU/YS award. There should be a weekly rap up meeting where the programming to be undertaken the next week, besides the research is discussed to minimize the impact that enrichment activities have on the scheduling of time in the research labs. These and other points made by the participants will be addressed in the conduction of this summer’s Summer 2011 REU.
Following displays the research alignments that were established for the REU/YS Participants to work in their respective research areas:

David Meza
Amy Wat
Christopher Gardner
Dominique Tucker-Roberson
Najiyyah Z. Phipps
Dr. Sergey Yamolenko
Dr. Zhigang Xu
Dr. Yeoheung Yun
Dr. Seonghyuk Ko
Dr. Dhananjay Kumar

ES I: Craniofacial and Orthopedic Applications;
ES II: Cardiovascular Devices; and,
ES III: Responsive Biosensors for Implants.
The technical programs as weekly seminars included the following topics:
  • Laboratory Safety, Environmental Health & Safety office,
  • Introduction to research methods and materials characterization tools,
  • Development of Metallic and Ceramic Biomaterials for implant applications using Pulsed Laser Deposition Method.
Other enrichment activities were undertaken to include:
  • EndNote®: Bibliographies Made Easy,
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation,
  • Bioengineering Ethics and Responsible Conduct in Research: When Research and Education Happen Together,
  • A New Way to Teach Science,
  • Day trip and tour: Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Both an opening program and a closing program were conducted. During the opening program, the participants met their respective RET and REU/YS coordinators. An Icebreaker-Mixer activity was done. The participants were introduced to our ERC RMB Education and Outreach Director, the Dean of the College of Engineering, the ERC RMB Director, the chair of the Chemical and Bioengineering department, the ERC RMB K-12 Outreach Associate Director, the ERC RMB Assessment Associate Director, ERC RMB Faculty/Researchers, and ERC RMB Staff. Also, as part of the opening program, a question and answer session was conducted. Finally, lunch was hosted by the ERC RMB REU coordinator and the participants were taken to get the campus’ identification cards.

For the closing program, the REUs, RETs and YS under the direction of their lead researcher and any graduate research assistants gave an oral presentation during the closing program. The topics that the REUs, RETs and YS presented are given in the following list. Some of the presentations were given as a combined effort between REU and RET.
Closing Program Presentation Topics
Dominique Tucker-Roberson (REU -Bennett College, Greensboro, NC)
Michael ‘Isa' Banner (RET -Carter G. Woodson School of Challenge, Winston-Salem, NC)
Dr. Seonghyuk Ko (Research Mentor Lead, ES I & ES III, ERC RMB)
Corrosion Study of Mg-based Biomaterials
Amy Wat (REU -California State University, Los Angeles) 
Dr. Xu Dr. Zhigang Xu (Research Mentor Lead, ES I, ERC RMB)
Preparation of Casting Molds for Magnesium Foam
Najiyyah Phipps (YS -Middle College at GTCC, High Point, NC)
Dr. Dhananjay Kumar (Research Mentor Lead, ES III, ERC RMB)
Mr. Mainul K. Faruque (Graduate Research Assistant, ERC RMB)
Application of Pulsed Laser Deposition in Bioengineering Research
Mable McMiller (RET -Curie Metro High School, Chicago, IL)
Dr. Dhananjay Kumar (Research Mentor Lead, ES III, ERC RMB)
Ms. Talisha M. Haywood (Graduate Research Assistant, ERC RMB)
Growth and Characterization of Titanium Nitride Films for Biomedical Applications
Christopher Gardner (REU -NC State University, Raleigh, NC)
Dr. Yeoheung Yun (Research Mentor Lead, ES I & III, ERC RMB)
Dual Protein Patterned Coatings for Biodegradable Magnesium Implants
Sonja Collins (RET -Norwayne Middle School, Wayne County, NC)
David Meza (REU -California State University, Los Angeles)
Dr. Sergey Yamolenko (Research Mentor Lead, ES I, ERC RMB)
Mr. Maliq R. Culbreath (Graduate Research Assistant, ERC RMB)
Mr. Ruben Kotoka (Graduate Research Assistant, ERC RMB)
Optimization of VN Thin Film Coating Produced by Magnetron Sputtering
Calvin Strachan (RET -Carver HS, Winston-Salem, NC)
Dr. Yeoheung Yun (Research Mentor Lead, ES I & III, ERC RMB)
Experimenting with Methodologies to Communicate ‘What is Happening’ with Biometallic Implants Once Installed in the Body
Taril Gravely (RET -Northeast Middle School, Greensboro, NC)
Dr. Nicholas Bentley (Research Mentor Lead, Industrial Liaison Officer, ERC RMB)
Dr. Yeoheung Yun (Research Mentor Lead, ES I & III, ERC RMB)
Entrepreneurial Biomaterial Innovation
Seema Anand (RET -Hawfields Middle School, Burlington, NC)
Dr. Jenora D. Waterman (Research Mentor Lead, ES II, ERC RMB)
Tissue Culture Techniques with Bioengineering Applications
Angela Jones (RET -JM Academy, Greensboro, NC)
Dr. Nicholas Bentley (Research Mentor Lead, Industrial Liaison Officer, ERC RMB)
Dr. Zhigang Xu (Research Mentor Lead, ES I, ERC RMB)
Possible Partners in Revolutionizing Metallic Bio-materials
Pooja Sarin (REU -NCState University, Raleigh, NC)
Dr. Dhananjay Kumar (Research Mentor Lead, ES III, ERC RMB)
Mr. Kwadwo Mensah-Darkwa (Graduate Research Assistant, ERC RMB)
Fabrication and Characterization of Zinc Films for Application in Magnesium-based Biodegradable Implants
Erin Ringrose (RET -Guilford Middle School, Greensboro, NC)
Dr. Salil Desai (Research Mentor Lead, ES II, ERC RMB)
Ms. Jessica L. Perkins (Graduate Research Assistant, ERC RMB)
Drop-on-Demand Printing
ES I: Craniofacial and Orthopedic Applications;
ES II: Cardiovascular Devices; and,
ES III: Responsive Biosensors for Implants.
In addition to the closing presentations, the REUs were tasked to write and provide a weekly reflective journal. Also, the REUs were to produce and submit at least one PowerPoint slide with captured the research done during a given week. Finally, the REUs were assigned the task to produce a biweekly newsletter for themselves. These activities were done to have a permanent record of the REUs experiences on hand. Accompanying are depictions of a newsletter, weekly slide and weekly journal submissions.