High School student, Alejandro Jackson, shared his experience of the BME Summer Research Internship

The Biomedical Engineering Department at FIU offers high school students the opportunity to apply for a Summer Research Internship to engage in BME study.

In the summer of 2019, Alejandro Jackson, a student of The Environmental Research Institute, TERRA, decided to experience how it was to be a biomedical engineer. His commitment to the field and his interest in learning got him a Summer Research Internship at the BME Adaptive Neural Systems Laboratory. Alejandro was tasked to construct a robotic hand and present the project with his team at the symposium, where they had to explain the project methods and provide a live demonstration. After his incredible experience, Alejandro came back to work in the lab during this 2020 summer to continue the journey of becoming a biomedical engineer supported by FIU.

The aspect I enjoyed the most about my first experience interning within the FIU biomedical engineering department at the ANS Lab was the learning environment the graduate students and faculty fostered during our time there. Their approach provided us with everything necessary to learn the skills needed to complete the project we were tasked with. That learning environment proved to be a challenge, but a new and exciting challenge at the end of every day. Furthermore, it made accomplishing tasks each week extremely rewarding, and at the symposium, I met with an incredibly bittersweet

Despite the circumstances that the pandemic brought this 2020 summer, Alejandro wanted to take advantage of his time and do something productive with it.

When the opportunity came, he did not hesitate to go back to the ANS Lab for his vacations. The lab provides him hands-on experience into new projects.

This opportunity helped me make something of my summer, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work in the lab again. This year I have focused on learning more about the nervous system through a neurophysiology course with undergraduate students in the lab, learning more about prostheses and the different facets of the biomedical engineering world, as well as aiding with tasks such as data analysis. I get to participate in weekly meetings with Dr. Jung and her team, where we discuss projects’ progress, and I’ve been exposed to the journal club. I am learning a lot.

Summer internships within the Biomedical Engineering Department have helped high school students as Alejandro explore and know even better the possible fields. The department is committed to encouraging young students who want to pursue a BME degree and supporting them in the fantastic journey of becoming the best biomedical engineers.

Throughout both summers, I experienced what it was like to be put in a more professional environment, unlike anything I had experienced in my schooling. This environment taught me a lot about work ethic and responsibility through the various tasks and deadlines, independence, and how to think outside of the box from witnessing many talented individuals who work within the lab come up with creative solutions to the problems we faced when working on our first project.

Student of The Environmental Research Institute, TERRA