Senior Project or Personal Experiences. .

Essay by Vics2607High School, 12th gradeA+, April 2003

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Like many students last year, I kept hearing that the class of 2003 would be required to complete a senior project in order to graduate. Difficult as I thought that would be, I reminded myself that it couldn't be too much of a struggle because I already had a great topic.

After an eight-day stay at Children's Hospital during the summer of 2001, which involved surgery, among many things, the chief of pediatric surgery, Dr. Henri Ford, presented me with an unbelievable offer. I had previously mentioned to him that I liked science and was interested in medicine, so he suggested that I work in his research lab that next summer. At once, I realized this was an incredible opportunity - many college and medical students often vie for this coveted position. With a grin and a handshake, I immediately accepted his offer.

Other than doing experiments, attending lab meetings, and possibly shadowing surgeons at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, I was clueless as to how I would spend my summer at Rangos Research Lab.

However, I was in for a major shock when I arrived on my first day - everyone else was much older and far more educated than I. So, while all the medical students, college students, and fellows were reading over their assignments, I, the high school student, attempted to read the grant.

Once I discovered the NEC Grant inside an enormous binder of information, I thought, "Aha! Here's the key to my understanding what I'm going to do, and then I can easily pick a project, right?" Oh, how wrong I was. All that I derived from the 27 pages that followed was that NEC stood for necrotizing enterocolitis, which apparently meant that the intestinal walls die in infants with...