Summer internships available for science, research

By Kaitlin Nemeh ’18 Staff Writer

School may be back in, but students like Garrett Weidig ‘16 are reflecting on jobs and internships they had during the summer.

“I did a series of experiments at Wayne State University for an internship called QuarkNet,” Weidig said.

The internship only accepted four students this year from multiple schools to come and study. The process of being accepted revolves around an online application after a recommendation from a teacher. Weidig was recommended by his physics teacher, Scott Brunner.

Brunner encourages about a dozen students every year to apply for internships, but he is involved with more than just recommendations.

“Every other year I teach a program at QuarkNet,” Brunner said. “From summer internships you can get real research experience, and it’s a great activity to include in a college application.”

QuarkNet is a hands-on experience that accepts students from grades 10-12, though mainly 11th grade. Students have the opportunity to choose from eight different programs to study.

“It’s great to see how research works. It’s not something you necessarily get to do in high school unless you get out there and get involved in the college communities,” Brunner said.

Weidig experienced many events during the summer with QuarkNet that would prepare him for his future.

“It was 40 hours a week, so it was an eight hour work day,” Weidig said. “We conducted experiments using different devices, we had lectures everyday from the professors and we would also tour around the campus.”

The internships shows what life would be like if students were to choose the same path for a career.

“The structure is not what students are used to, with lectures and labs, unique experiments and designing your own,” Brunner said.

After working with three other students and a guidance teacher for 80 hours, Weidig was prepared to test a variety of experiments.

“We were trying to detect different light particles, so my partner and I had to come up with something to detect them with. So we tried detecting these different particles, but we wanted to see which angles they came at from the universe.”  

Weidig’s experience with the internship has helped him to solidify an idea of his plans in the future.

“I want to do something in the sciences,” Weidig said. “I’ve never done something like that before so it was really good to do different experiments.”