Mission Statement

To inspire and motivate students for STEM careers through cutting-edge scientific research.

What is the outreach program about?

The Furche High School Outreach Program (HSOP) helps prepare students for a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) career. The program is geared towards high school students who are unfamiliar with the academic environment and have few or no other opportunities to participate in research. High school students are introduced to a hands-on research experience in computational and theoretical chemistry. It combines computer science, physics, mathematics, and a whole lot of chemistry to solve scientific problems. The program is directed by Professor Furche and funded by the National Science Foundation under CHE-1800431.

Who are we reaching out to?

We are living in a unique time where video conferencing for remote learning is becoming an important tool to connect people from different parts of the world. The Furche HSOP is using these tools to expand its outreach to underserved communities beyond Southern California. Hence, we encourage motivated high school students with an interest in science to send in an application!

What is to be expected?

For 8 weeks in the summer, students will have the opportunity to collaborate with a mentor and to contribute to an ongoing research project. The first week of the program will be an introduction to computational chemistry and basic programming skills. After the first week, students are expected to remotely meet with their mentor at least 4 hours per week and remotely attend weekly research group meetings. Successful student interns may have the opportunity to present their work as a co-author on a poster and/or research paper. Invaluable skills will be developed such as problem solving and communication. At the end of the program, students will present their research project and have the opportunity to continue on the research experience beyond summer.

Important application information

Applications are reviewed continuously, on a rolling basis. For 2020 summer internships, please send in your application by May 31st. Interview will be during the next week and the internship will begin mid-June.

Application materials should be sent by Email to Brian Nguyen (bdnguye2[at]uci.edu) and should include:

  1. An unofficial copy of transcripts
  2. A brief (one page) resume
  3. A one-page personal statement about your background, career plans, and motivations

Request a letter of recommendation (e.g. from one of your teachers or a former mentor or employer), to be sent directly to filipp.furche[at]uci.edu.

Prerequisites

  • Sophomore, Junior, or Senior standing
  • Weighted Science 3.3 GPA or higher
  • Enrolled or taken at least Chemistry or Physics class
  • Familiarity in calculus and/or computer science
  • Reliable internet connection
  • Desktop computer or laptop with webcam

If you are interested or have any questions regarding the application process, please contact Brian Nguyen (bdnguye2[at]uci.edu).

Current Students

Name High School Mentor Picture
Aakrsh Misra Dana Hills High School Samuel Bekoe
Bailey Kau Irvine High School Gabriel Phun
Noelle Nash St. Margaret's Episcopal School Jeffrey Tsai
Sophie Hwang University High School Gabriel Phun
Thanh Huynh Fountain Valley High School Brian Nguyen
Theresa Carlos Middlesex County Academy for Biomedical Sciences and Allied Health Eva von Domaros
Victoria Choi Troy High School Jason Yu

Former High School Interns

Many students participated in the Furche HSOP and learned a lot to better prepare for their college career. Here are personal accounts of their experiences with tips for prospective applicants.

"By being a part of the Furche HS outreach program, I learned how to conduct science research alongside a mentor and be proactive when I needed help. It gave me the confidence to pursue research in college in a clinical gait lab. I also felt more prepared for college academics especially chemistry and computer science. I worked with Nambi on molecular dynamic calculations and created a python script to analyze those calculations. I enjoyed learning quantum chemistry and how molecules move by using software like Turbomole. Some advice for future interns is to ask questions and even look for resources online to learn the basic concepts well. It is also helpful to talk to the other interns and explain material to each other as this will help solidify important information. " - Lizbeth Gomez, Stanford '21

"The program has helped me by providing valuable academic and research experience that assisted me in transitioning from high school to university. The outreach exposes its students to higher-level academic ideas and methods of learning that better prepared me for learning in a college setting, particularly in terms of the large amount of academic independence that is given in college. I learned to create python scripts that were helpful in Roy's research as well as leverage Turbomole to run and analyze chemical simulations to provide additional data for his project. I also learned a great amount in regards to developing scientific simulations and understanding collegiate level mathematics" - Gary Zeri, Chapman '22

"The opportunity to conduct research and converse with graduate students regarding real, unsolved occurrences has been pivotal for the development of my curiosity for the chemical engineering field. Throughout my internship, I have learned about the detail-oriented nature of computational chemistry as I navigated through different programming languages and logged computations. Ultimately, exploring university-level chemistry alongside a mentor has been an experience that has propelled me to think more analytically for the application of class skills in real-world phenomena and I advise future interns to maximize their internship by being proactive with asking questions." - Allison Kim, UC Berkeley '24