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Monta Vista High Student Wins Spot at Research Science Institute

The Center for Excellence in Education awards 51 highly coveted opportunities for high school students to learn from the top scientists at M.I.T. and get a taste of graduate-level research.

Monta Vista High Student Wins Spot at Research Science Institute
Editor's note: The following information was provided by the Center for Excellence in Education. It has been edited for clarity and style. 

There's a big wide world out there for students who excel in STEM courses—and follow their own curiosity.

Nishant Jain, a Monta Vista High School student, is one of three Californians among 51 young scholars selected to participate in the 30th annual Research Science Institute, a nationally recognized program run by the Center for Excellence in Education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) this summer.

The institute, known as RSI, is a six-week intensive program that began Sunday. Jointly sponsored by MIT, it provides students with the opportunity to conduct original, cutting-edge research in state-of-the-art university laboratories, hospitals and corporate research facilities, according to a news release from the center.

Educators and RSI alumni selected 51 top-achieving high school students based on the following criteria: high school records, personal essays, standardized test scores, teacher recommendations, research experience, potential for leadership, and honors and awards in math and science. 

If you want to get a sense of the drive these students have, view this interview with Jain earlier this year that was made by Yashashree Pisolkar, one of the entertainment editors of Monta Vista High School's newspaper, El Estoque


Additionally, 30 international students were selected from Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Israel, Lebanon, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. 

The RSI Academic Professors include:

·       Dr. Steven Byrnes, RSI’02, Harvard University – Physics

·       Dr. Steven Leeb, Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Engineering

·       Dr. Forrest Michael, RSI’90, University of Washington  - Chemistry

  • Dr. Sean Mulholland, Economics, Stonehill College

·       Dr. Yi-Ching Ong, RSI’98, Columbia University - Biology

·       Mr. Lance Rhoades, University of Washington - Humanities

·       Dr. Christopher Skinner, RSI’88, Princeton University - Math

“RSI is an esteemed program that provides top achieving high school students the opportunity to experience graduate level research at MIT,” said Joann P. DiGennaro, CEE’s President.  

“RSI has nearly 2000 successful alumni with an 80 percent STEM career retention rate of the alumni.”

Scholars receive one week of theoretical classroom work, followed by four-and-a-half weeks of research with a professor or research scientist in the students’ respective areas of interest. In the final week, students demonstrate their work through written academic papers and present oral findings to their peers and a panel of judges. 

Students participate in the RSI Distinguished Guest Lecture Series, which will include three Nobel prize winners. The lecturers are: Dr. Dudley Herschbach, Harvard Professor Emeritus; Dr. Phillip Sharp, Institute Professor (highest academic rank) at MIT and member of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research; and Dr. Wolfgang Ketterle, John D. MacArthur Professor of Physics at MIT and Associate Director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT, Director, MIT-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms. The RSI scholars learn about the careers, achievements, and challenges of the STEM environment and also participate in question and answer sessions.



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