Every summer Augustana College provides students the opportunity to take part in scientific research outside the classroom. This year participation jumped up by 54% since last year.
Carl Hjelman is a junior in Augie's biology program and he is serious about a future in science. He says, "maybe going into the research field or maybe being a professor."
To get there, Carl's working hard now, participating in a summer research project. he and two other undergrads are studying the affects of omega-three acids on blood platelets. Carl says, "last summer I worked for the biology department and I was kind of exposed to it and I liked the hands on experience of actually discovering something new."
Carl's professor, Mark Larson says a grant from the National Institutes of Health makes the experience possible. Larson says, "this grant has really been about giving south Dakotans the chance to do really cutting-edge biological research."
Larson says grants draw more students into programs like this. He says just a few years ago Augie could only afford to place about 15 undergrads in summer research, this year 92 students are participating. and the growth is good. Larson says, "this actually makes it easier to get more grants, more money, more work and that's what we're seeing here at Augustana."
Larson says often that work leads to research that can make all of our lives better and when it comes to students like Carl, it gives them a leg up in the classroom and the work force. He says, "I think it's helpful with understanding the classes we're taking and for our future work to have that experience down."