Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Training Students to Tackle Real Life Problems

June 12, 2018

As students march proudly at their commencement ceremonies to receive their long-awaited degrees, I hope they know that they can make a difference in the world. Although many will doubt how their classes and internships can possibly help them tackle real life problems, some will venture forth with confidence by being mentored and coached along the way.

As a research scientist at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at CHOP, I have been privileged to help mentor and coach several student engineers, including high school students, undergraduate students from their co-op programs, and graduate students. Mentoring these students is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.

These students work with CIRP's Engineering team to stay on top of technology (including the field of self-driving which is evolving at astounding speed), identify research gaps, and develop grant proposals to gain knowledge to fill these gaps. They gain hands-on research experience and learn about the advances we are making in active safety research using research tools such as CHOP’s driving simulator and the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) naturalistic driving database that may someday bring us to Vision Zero through crash-avoidance and self-driving technology.

Injury Science Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

CIRP recently welcomed 11 undergraduate students for a 10-week Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) summer internship. Our Injury Science REU program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, offers these students the opportunity to:

  • conduct research to build the scientific foundation for injury prevention interventions
  • translate interventions into practical solutions
  • evaluate the success of these solutions

Our research team is excited to work with these young scientists as they take on an active role in academic research. We encourage them to ask plenty of questions and suggest ideas to help answer a research question. As they develop critical thinking and research skills, we look forward to seeing their confidence grow. Here’s to another summer rich in learning for our students and in mentoring for our scientists.

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