Reports: SE49694-SE: ACS Project SEED Summer Experiences for the Economically Disadvantaged High School Students

Cecilia Hernandez , American Chemical Society

The Project SEED program offers high school students from low-income families the opportunity to experience a career in chemistry-related sciences. The students are placed in academic, industrial, or governmental research settings for 8 to 10 weeks during the summer, participating in hands-on scientific experiences under the supervision of a volunteer mentor.  For the past 43 years, ACS members and volunteer scientists around the country have contributed their time and energy to mentoring nearly 9,000 students to explore new educational and career possibilities. Students discover their ability to learn new skills, develop self-confidence, learn what advanced study is like and develop a greater interest in scientific/technical areas. Individualized attention is guaranteed, as each mentor may supervise only one or two students.

To emphasize the importance of their work, students receive a stipend for participating. Students can return for a second summer experience and are eligible to compete for a college scholarship.  Annual evaluations indicate that the program continues to simulate students’ interest in science; 63% are expected to complete a graduate or professional school; 64% stated Project SEED helped them choose a college major; and 75% stated the program helped them decide to pursue a career in science. 

In 2011, 412 students participated in the Project SEED program.  Twenty-four of these students were supported with funds provided by the ACS Petroleum Research Fund (PRF) and eight of them received a Project SEED College Scholarship. At the 242ndACS Fall National Meeting in Denver, CO, students representing the Colorado, Missouri, and Pittsburgh local sections, presented their summer research at the ACS Sci-Mix poster session. The following 56 institutions were supported by the ACS PRF, either through direct support of the 24 students or through existing PRF grants that supported 54 Project SEED students: 


Brown University, RI

California State University, Los Angeles, CA

Calvin College, MI

Central Michigan University, MI

Chevron Oronite Company, CA

Colorado State University – Pueblo, CO

Columbia University, NY

Case Western Reserve Univ., OH

Dowling College, NY

Duquesne University, PA

Eastern Michigan University

Eastern Oregon Univ., OR

Georgia College & State University, GA

Henderson State Univ., AR

Idaho State University, ID

Illinois State University, IL

Indiana Univ. School of Medicine-South Bend, IN

Iowa State University, IA

Libby Labs, CA

Mass Spectrometry & Proteomics Facility, IN

Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute, NJ

North Carolina State Univ., NC

New Jersey Inst. Of Tech., NJ

Penn State Altoona, PA

Prairie View University, TX

Princeton University, NJ

Rice University, TX

Rider University, NJ

Rutgers University, NJ

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, NJ

Saint Peter's College, NJ

Sarah Lawrence College, NY

Savannah State University, GA

Seton Hall University, NJ

St. John's University, NY

Stanford University, CA

Stevens Institute of Tech., NJ

Stonehill College, MA

The University of Akron, OH

The University of Memphis, TN

The University of Texas at Austin, TX

Univ. of Medicine and Dentistry, NJ

University of Alaska Fairbanks, AK

University of California, CA

University of Delaware, DE

University of Miami, FL

University of Missouri- Kansas City, MO

University of Nebraska Medical Center, NE 

University of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC

University of Notre Dame, IN

University of South Carolina, SC

University of Texas at San Antonio, TX

University of Vermont, VT

USDA, Western Res. Ctr., CA

Wayne State University, MI

Youngstown State Univ., OH

Converging on Alaska
Dr. Ridgway
Polyene Synthesis
Dr. O'Neil
Dr. Bali
Faults and Fluid Flow
Dr. Huntington