Tag Archives: Apprenticeship

Reflections on Apprenticeship 2014

By Min-Ling Li

Min-Ling is IEA’s Apprenticeship Program Coordinator. IEA’s residential summer Apprenticeship Program links gifted high school students from across the country with mentors who advance each participant’s skills through the application of knowledge and exposure to real world experiences. These life lessons in personal and intellectual development are invaluable to their growth and assist them in making pertinent connections for the future.

High School Apprenticeship Program

Min-Ling (far left) with the four- and seven-week Apprentices

“Everything you can imagine is real.” Pablo Picasso

I had the honor of spending seven weeks – a time that has magically flown by – alongside wonderful students whom I could not get enough of. Their passion and diligence radiated all around them, and I watched each of them grow over the course of the summer. I feel privileged to have been witness to not only their physical growth (hair and height) but to the development of their perseverance and the bloom of their self-confidence.

As an IEA Apprentice, students must possess an innate desire to learn and an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Driven by these characteristics, each Apprentice worked alongside eminent professionals, becoming a vital part of a research team and/or project. These opportunities posed challenges that gifted students typically do not face in the classroom. The unique difficulties posed by the need to acquire as much knowledge of a subject as possible in an effort to become a productive contributor and by entering into professional cultures they had not yet experienced helped each student develop a newfound maturity. Doctors, research scientists, lawyers, and I comprised the team of mentors who committed to providing support for the Apprentices as they began to mature intellectually and socially, and we provided opportunities for them to learn and to succeed on their own laurels.

Apprentices cultivated relationships with each other and found the acceptance and the strength they needed to conquer the challenges they faced. After each arduous work day, dinner was the time when they shared their struggles to comprehend complex science jargon, algorithms, design techniques, and intricate medical procedures, all the while discussing their experiences with hot wire cutters and petri dishes. Somehow, dinner conversations always culminated in discussions about who they were rooting for on MasterChef or the games they planned to play back at the dorm.

During the evenings and on weekends, Resident Advisers and I engaged the Apprentices’ teenage selves. In an effort to bridge asynchronous highly able minds with their adolescent emotional and psychological needs, we played Pictionary, bowled, went ice skating, and attended a baseball game. Many of the kids also completed summer AP assignments, and many watched a Harry Potter marathon. Astonishingly, I watched each of the Apprentices achieve balance.

At this time last year, I could only dream of these young adults, who have now exceeded all of my expectations. It is now time to plan for next year’s program, and I can only imagine who the phenomenal students will be that take part in Apprenticeship 2015.

See photos from Apprenticeship 2014!
Apprenticeship2014Photos

Do you know a gifted high school student who would benefit from Apprenticeship? Sign up for our email list to stay updated on our 2015 offerings!

IEA Summer Spotlight 2014

By Jennifer de la Haye

“I am happy to be in a room of too’s,” said Betsy Jones, IEA President, as we concluded IEA’s Summer Spotlight this year. “We are all too’s – too emotional, too smart, too intense….”

Tuesday, June 8, was a bright evening of community, learning, and friendship as IEA and its community gathered at the University of Southern California for dinner and a time of sharing. Eight IEA Apprentices, who studied Industrial Design under Stan Kong at Art Center College of Design, displayed their impressive concept design sketches – pieces of art that would later become final projects. Posters, books, and sculptures created by Academy students, Caroline D. Bradley Scholars, and Yunasa campers were also scattered about USC’s Vineyard Room, along with plenty of photos of Academy kids at The Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens; Yunasa West campers frolicking in Colorado; and CDB Scholars who convened for the Bradley Seminar in April.

IMG_0344IMG_4479IMG_4477 See some of the highlights from Summer Spotlight!

The Many Faces of Gifted: Sneha

By Carole Rosner

Every gifted person has a unique story. The following story is part of a series of posts depicting the many faces of gifted by highlighting gifted children and adults we have found through IEA programs. IEA’s Apprenticeship Program – mentioned in this story – links gifted high school students from across the country with mentors who advance each participant’s skills through the application of knowledge and exposure to real world experiences.

SnehaC

Sneha Chidambaram
2013 Apprentice, Social Media and Media Relations, University of Southern California

“At first, I was definitely intimidated to enter into a real, adult workplace as a mere high school junior. But looking back, I feel this one nerve-wracking transition was what helped me gain more confidence in myself,” high school senior Sneha explained about her IEA Apprenticeship experience.

A counselor at an SAT Prep center told Sneha about IEA’s programs. “What interested me the most about IEA Apprenticeship was the fact that I would be working one-on-one and alongside a professional in my desired field of study, business. After searching for numerous summer programs as an anxious high school junior interested in business, I felt that the Social Media and Media Relations Apprenticeship suited my interests perfectly, as it is the perfect opportunity for getting a snapshot into the business world.”

During her apprenticeship, Sneha conducted competitive market research on Facebook pages, websites, and Twitter feeds; developed a logo; and wrote a news release that was published on the USC News and USC Marshall School of Business websites.

I asked Sneha how she felt going back to high school after her Apprenticeship. “In terms of academics, I feel my procrastination has reduced drastically, and I approach my tasks more methodically. I have definitely grown to plan effectively and manage my time more wisely!”

This summer, Sneha’s plans include “relaxing, eating, shopping, and hanging out with my friends and family,” before heading east to attend University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School to study business. “After my Apprenticeship, I can definitely say that I fell in love with the corporate world, and I definitely intend to work in a corporate firm upon my college graduation. At this point in time, I am leaning more towards the financial sector, so I aspire to work in either a top investment banking firm, or maybe even a private equity firm!”

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Sneha (second from left) with her Mentors and Apprenticeship alumnus Hunter at IEA’s Summer Spotlight 2013

See what Sneha and other IEA program participants said about their IEA experiences at our 2013 Summer Spotlight.

Want to meet more bright and talented individuals? Sign up for our e-newsletters, which regularly feature a different face of gifted.

Mentor Spotlight: Dr. Veronica Eliasson

Dr. Eliasson and her research group, including an IEA Apprentice, during the summer of 2013. “I really like my research group,” Dr. Eliasson told us. “The students become part of my family.”

Dr. Eliasson and her research group, including an IEA Apprentice, during the summer of 2013. “I really like my research group,” Dr. Eliasson told us. “The students become part of my family.”

Dr. Veronica Eliasson
Assistant Professor, Department of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering at University of Southern California
Education:
Ph.D., Mechanics, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Research Interests:
Shock wave behavior in gases and liquids, shock wave focusing, fluid-solid interactions

For the last two summers, Dr. Veronica Eliasson has introduced high school students to shock wave research through IEA’s Apprenticeship Program. This program links gifted high school students from across the country with mentors like Dr. Eliasson who advance each participant’s skills through the application of knowledge and exposure to real world experiences. Dr. Eliasson, who will be joining us as an Apprenticeship Mentor again this summer, took some time to talk to us about herself and her experiences.

Describe your educational journey.

My dad always told me I should get a Master’s degree in some kind of engineering area. I kept saying no — but somehow I still ended up with a Master’s degree in Engineering. My dad was right, he knew I had the interest and background to do well in such a program and that there are plenty of opportunities to shape your career any way you like afterwards.

So, when I was 19 I moved to Stockholm to attend KTH (Royal Institute of Technology). I applied to a program in Vehicle Engineering only because of the way their brochure looked (perhaps not the best way to pick your undergraduate/Master program). It had pictures of trains, boats and cars, and I thought it would be very interesting to understand the physics behind how they work. The last year I went in a different direction and specialized in nuclear safety. I thought it was very fascinating to learn more about nuclear fuel plants, how they operate and how to keep them safe. My Master’s thesis was conducted in collaboration with a nuclear fuel company, and when I was done I knew I wanted to attend a PhD program to learn more, not necessarily about nuclear fuel, but something with fluid mechanics. I applied for a PhD position at the Mechanics Department at KTH with a Professor working on shock waves (something I knew very little about). I got the position, and it was the beginning of a very fascinating journey, learning about shock waves through experiments and numerical simulations. It was scary in the beginning not knowing there was a “right” answer at the end, that no one knew ahead of time what the results of the experiments would be. It was very different, and certainly more fun, than taking a course where the correct answers to all questions are displayed at the end of the book.

Read more of our interview with Dr. Eliasson!

The Many Faces of Gifted: Melissa

By Carole Rosner

Every gifted person has a unique story. The following story is part of a series of posts depicting the many faces of gifted by highlighting gifted children and adults we have found through IEA programs. IEA’s Apprenticeship Program – mentioned in this story – links gifted high school students from across the country with mentors who advance each participant’s skills through the application of knowledge and exposure to real world experiences.

Melissa Mai Headshot

Melissa M.
2013 Apprentice, Astronomy, California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

“Seeing the way the professors critiqued their students truly was an unexpected treasure of the Apprenticeship Program, as it revealed, unfiltered, the true dynamics of a research environment and showcased the intrinsically collaborative nature of research,” Melissa said about her four-week IEA Apprenticeship at Caltech last summer.

“I worked under Drs. Djorgovski, Donalek, and Mahabal in Caltech’s Department of Astronomy to create interactive, multimedia presentations using the WorldWide Telescope platform. My main job was to take data from my Mentors’ research about atomic emission spectra, Doppler shifting, and variability, and present it in a way that the everyday person can understand through ‘tours’ on the program. I worked with one other apprentice, Daniel Wright, who worked on a tour about asteroids.”

Learn more about Melissa!

The Many Faces of Gifted: Monica

By Carole Rosner

Every gifted person has a unique story. The following story is part of a series of posts depicting the many faces of gifted by highlighting gifted children and adults we have found through IEA programs. IEA’s Apprenticeship Program – mentioned in this story – links gifted high school students from across the country with mentors who advance each participant’s skills through the application of knowledge and exposure to real world experiences.

Monica

Monica Lienke
2001 Apprentice, Industrial Design at Art Center College of Design (Art Center)
Law Student, Stanford University

Twelve years ago, Monica Lienke was one of the first IEA Apprentices at Art Center. She worked closely with Stan Kong, a leading design educator in Los Angeles. She described her two-week experience as “long hours and a lot of work, but extremely gratifying. I remember feeling that I had learned a ton by the end of it. But probably the best part of the program was getting to know the other participants in the program, who were all incredibly talented and unique individuals.”

Read more about Monica’s Apprenticeship and what she’s doing now!

The Many Faces of Gifted: Albert

By Carole Rosner

Every gifted person has a unique story. The following story is part of a series of posts depicting the many faces of gifted by highlighting gifted children and adults we have found through IEA programs. IEA’s Apprenticeship Program – mentioned in this story – links gifted high school students from across the country with mentors who advance each participant’s skills through the application of knowledge and exposure to real world experiences.

Albert-Keung
Albert Keung
2000 Apprentice, Aeronautical Engineering, Occidental College
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Boston University/Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Can you imagine what it would be like to fly in an unpowered glider over Southern California? Albert Keung didn’t have to imagine it; he actually did it in the summer of 2000. Albert was an Apprentice in the Aeronautical Engineering program at Occidental College and mentored by the late Dr. Paul MacCready, founder of AeroVironment, Inc. and known as the “father of human-powered flight.”

Read more about Albert’s Apprenticeship and career path!