Bryn Mawr students participating in the Summer Science program with the Physics Department recently took a tour of the Plasma Physics lab at Princeton University.
Assistant Professor of Physics David Schaffner, who has his own Plasma Physics Lab at Bryn Mawr, accompanied the group. In addition to eight Bryn Mawr undergrads, the group also included a recent Bryn Mawr graduate, three graduate students, and a Swarthmore undergraduate student who is working with Professor of Physics Michael Brown at Swarthmore. Schaffner and Brown often collaborate on research.
"Visiting the Princeton lab can actually help students better understand the work we're doing in our own lab," says Schaffner. "The students also got a taste of big science (fusion energy) as well as a chance to see a potential place for graduate work."
Undergraduate research initiatives are central to Bryn Mawr College's approach to science education. All science majors are encouraged to conduct mentored research projects during the summer and/or academic year. Students receive stipends for summer research and academic credit for research performed in the junior and senior years. Since 1989, each summer the College has provided 35-plus students with 10-week research stipends to conduct independent research under the guidance of Bryn Mawr faculty members in the sciences and mathematics. The summer program is enriched by professional development workshops and a poster session at which students present their research to the College community.