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STEM Internships

STEM Internships are funded through the WORC grant provided by the Savannah River Site to support and enrich the academic experience of USC Salkehatchie undergraduates who are interested in science, technology, engineering or mathematchic (STEM)  or STEM-related fields. By providing access to faculty-mentor relationships, Salkehatchie encourages students to explore their interests at a more in-depth level than can be attained in the classroom, which will help the students in their future studies and job searches.

All students who are interested in STEM-related areas and meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply. An applicant must:

  • have at least 12 college credits, including those in progress and on record, when applying,
  • be a full-time student of USC Salkehatchie taking mostly in-person courses from the Salkehatchie campus during the period of the project,
  • have a STEM faculty member willing to submit a recommendation letter online to address the student's STEM abilities
  • meet one of the following GPA requirements:
    • have a 3.0 GPA from the semester immediately prior to application,
    • have a 2.5 overall GPA,
    • earn a 2.5 GPA for the semester when applying if there is no record prior to the application.

Interns can earn up to $2,000 per semester.

Available Projects

Herbarium Specimen Preparation in the USC Salkehatchie Herbarium

The USC Salkehatchie Herbarium (SALK) houses over 2,000 vascular plant specimens from the Carolinas, Georgia, Arkansas, and Missouri. Dr. Kilpatrick is the curator of the herbarium and collects new specimens each year. Student interns are recruited to assist with specimen preparation. The collection is digitally linked to the SouthEast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections (SERNEC) and published in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). GBIF is an international open access biodiversity data portal.

Cosmic Rays

Cosmic rays are subatomic par􀀁cles that reach the Earth and originate from collisions of galactic and extra‐galactic particles with atmospheric molecules. The cosmic rays can be detected and measured with a scintillation detector connected to a data acquisition system. In par􀀁cular, students can measure the speed of cosmic rays with two detectors and the rate of cosmic rays with one detector. The cosmic ray rate depends on the atmospheric pressure, and this dependence can be measured.

Knot Theory

In this project we will study Knot Theory and use it to analyze commonly used knots from fishermen and/or boy scouts, like Bowline, Reef Knot, Anchor Bend, Figure-eight Knot, and Boatswain’s Noose. We will first analyze its crossing number, the composition of the link,and then compare the unknotting number with the actual moves we need to unknot them. We have 17 different samples of links and knots. Forthis project, we would like to analyze at least the commonly used 5.