YONCALLA—Students often ask themselves, “how will I use this in the ‘real’ world?” The Summer Experience in Science and Engineering for Youth (SESEY) put on by Oregon State University helps answer that question and, over the past summer, Yoncalla High School senior Priya Allen was able to have that learning experience.
While at OSU, Allen was able to stay in Weatherford Hall and experience the college life by attending lectures about majors, careers and college life. Part of the program included taking a trip to the University of Oregon and being able to tour that campus as well. However, the majority of time was spent at OSU, working on her lab project with her partner alongside an undergraduate and a graduate student — all of whom were overseen by an associate professor of environmental engineering.
Their project was focused on finding the most efficient varieties of plants for stormwater cleaning and pertained mainly to environmental and biological engineering. The work was completed in a biohazard level-1 lab, where the group conducted Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Total Suspended Solids (TSS), ammonium and UV 254 tests utilizing very expensive equipment. At the end of the week, the results were presented to parents and project mentors.
“I am so incredibly grateful to have been given an opportunity to participate in SESEY,” Allen said. “In less than a week I discovered that bioengineering was not nearly as interesting to me as chemical engineering. I also learned a lot from the camp counselors about life at OSU and college in general.”
Initiated by Oregon State University in 1997, SESEY is coordinated by the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering. Allen said she would highly recommend anyone interested in science and engineering to apply.
“At SESEY, you are given an opportunity that can rarely be experienced anywhere else,” said Allen. “The fact that I was able to produce data that could contribute to incredible discoveries is invaluable.”
For more information pn the SESEY program, visit https://cbee.oregonstate.edu/sesey.