REACT Penn Undergrads perform ACT and ACT-related research and participate in the below training programs.
International Summer Research at GIANT
Each summer, U.S. undergraduate students, PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and an early career faculty member will conduct research at GIANT in Grenoble, France. The GIANT network offers a truly unique setting for an international research experience for US trainees. Early career faculty will spend 4-5 weeks at GIANT. Postdocs and graduate students will spend 10-12 weeks at GIANT in an ACT partner’s laboratory for one summer during the REACT project’s duration. The timing of when postdocs and PhD students go to GIANT will be determined by when trainees join REACT and the duration of their funding (i.e., the international research schedule has been laid out by cohort). Each summer, REACT expects to support 5 undergraduate students from Penn, Bryn Mawr and Villanova for a 10-week research experience at GIANT.
The GIANT International Internship Programme (GIIP) provides an infrastructure for international trainees placed in labs within the extensive GIANT network and has hosted 18 Penn/ASU students since 2011 through Penn’s Nano/Bio Interface Center’s (NBIC) NSF IRES program (ending 2016). Because GIIP typically hosts students from other US institutions, the REACT participants from Penn/US Partners will have a larger circle of peers. GIIP enhances interns’ research experiences with tours of the state-of-the-art facilities, a weekly seminar session and cultural and social activities, and provides critical logistical support to the participants. PhD students and postdocs will contribute to GIIP programs by teaching a seminar that they have prepared as part of their communications workshop.
PhD, postdoc and undergraduate students will participate in the annual French-American Workshop (FAW) in June by presenting posters and “1 minute” talks. The U.S. Consulate in Lyon, France, supports and attends the FAW, and lends official support to 120 interns in Grenoble. The REACT Symposia will coincide with FAW so that both project-specific research and broader educational exchange can be shared.
Senior Design Relief Tent Project
To build a community of international innovators, REACT will leverage the new Inter-Departmental Senior Design (ISD) Project at Penn that includes 3-5 undergraduates working on a project that requires an interdisciplinary approach. REACT faculty and Solvay scientists will serve as “tent advisors” for a student team that will design and assemble a tent that captures and purifies water, prevents the spread of infection, and produces/stores energy in the aftermath of natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. This topic naturally requires expertise from materials scientists, bioengineers, and electrical, mechanical and chemical engineers.
Initially, students will use existing technologies (e.g., Teflon®), and then sequentially add active coating technologies as they develop. This prototype tent will serve as the focal point for a design challenge that invites high school students from Delaware Valley and Grenoble, through GIANT’s high school-level “Innov@school” program, to participate in a poster competition (real and virtual) during the annual Philly Materials Day. This tent will also be showcased at CANOPEA, a new concept building project in Grenoble.