Victoria West High School STEM students Sanchit Singhal and Manas Agrawal participated in the U.S. Department of Defense Education Program beginning in the Spring of 2022 through the summer.
The program started with a virtual portion from January to April that consisted of biweekly meetings. During these virtual meetings, the students were instructed on multiple topics like artificial intelligence, cryptography, quantum tech, and more. They also went over resumes and soft skills like working in teams, writing, and communication.
In the summer, the students participated in an in-person 8-week internship. During this internship, the participants received hands-on experience like practicing academic research for projects, practicing writing resumes and performing mock interviews. The participants were also split into focus groups.
They also had weekly tours where the participants would visit different industries having to do with the topics they covered. During these tours, they were able to meet people who worked in those respective fields and received further insight into what kind of career options that industry had to offer. Some of the places they toured included a biotechnology company and the University of Tennessee Space Institute.
It also provided them with a taste of college life. “This was by far the longest I have lived without my parents,” said Singhal. “I had to manage my own time, learn how to properly store, iron, and wear formal attire, and had no one to tell me to go to bed at a somewhat reasonable time.”
“Sanchit and Manas are incredibly intelligent students who have leveraged their participation in this program to further their own independent studies of artificial intelligence algorithms,” said West High School Computer Science Teacher Cody McDonald. “I am so excited to see what the future holds for these two gifted students.”
We are #VISDProud of these West Warrior students!