Students, Professors Participate in NSF-Funded Summer Research at PVAMU
Summer break often provides students and teachers with a break from the rigors of research.
But a select few chose to carry their work well into the warmer months by participating in the first ever 8-week research experience program this past summer at Prairie View A&M.
Thanks to a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) and RET (Research Experiences for Teachers) programs were established during the summer of 2019.
Engineering students and Houston area teachers worked on exciting STEM projects in groups comprised of two students and a teacher during the first program of its kind at PVAMU.
Projects ranged from topics such as data analysis to wireless grid technologies to studying renewable energy.
Drs. Warsame Ali, Shuza Binzaid, Penrose Cofie and Matthew Sadiku— faculty members in the Roy G. Perry College of Engineering— served as advisors for the students and teachers throughout the summer.
In addition, Drs. Mohamed Chouikha and Lijun Qian gave presentations to the students and teachers on cybersecurity and big data analytic, respectively.
“The students and teachers worked in a variety of cutting edge technologies related to research in Smart and Connected cities in general, and smart grid systems,” explained Dr. John Attia, the program coordinator, “In addition, participants worked side-by-side with leading researchers at Prairie View A&M University on projects relating to Smart Grid Systems.”
This first cohort of research experience participants came from a variety of places, with eight students coming over from the Roy G. Perry College of Engineering, one student coming from Morgan State University, and another student from Kenneshaw State University. Teachers joined the program from positions with Spring, Houston, and Klein Independent School Districts, and also from Harmony Public School.
While it was a challenge to find funding for the program, the organizers were able to provide free on-campus housing and meals for the students, as well as a $6000 stipend for each program participant.
Despite the challenges the program faced, its first year proved to be a resounding success.
“The students and teachers produced quality research project reports that may be presented at technical conferences during the 2019-2020 academic year,” Dr. Attia confirmed.
There’s no doubt that the summer research participants will go on to even bigger and better things.