Local high school student gains hands-on experience through MTSU’s Project SEED

Photo courtesy J. Intintoli

Photo courtesy of MTSU News

Central Magnet School student Jessica Bullock is participating in MTSU’s Project SEED program to gain hands-on experience and to jumpstart a career in biochemistry.

Project SEED, or Summer Education Experience for the Economically Disadvantaged, is an effort sponsored by the American Chemical Society. It is designed to diversify laboratories and give high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at MTSU’s facilities.

According to a press release, the 16-year-old honors student discovered SEED through a friend.

“I thought that’d be a good opportunity for me so I decided that I’d try and apply for (the) position as well,” Bullock said in the press release.

In the program, Bullock works alongside undergraduate and graduate students under the direction of MTSU assistant chemistry professor Keying Ding. Participants conduct research for the National Science Foundation. This summer’s objective is to create amine or imine products using chemical reactions between compound amines and alcohols with a metal complex catalyst, according to the press release. These products are important in the production of pharmaceutical drugs.

Despite being the only high schooler on the project, Ding said that Bullock is doing well.

Jessica is keen to explore chemistry research fields,” Ding said in the press release. “She is brilliant, focused and has strong work ethic. Now she is ready to take solid steps toward project success.”

Along with her admission, Bullock received a $2,500 stipend from MTSU Office of Research Services Director Jeff Porter and the American Chemical Society. Bullock is a member of the Health Occupations Students of America club at Central Magnet and was recently accepted into the National Science Honor Society. She will begin her senior year this fall.

To contact news Editor Caleb Revill, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

For more news, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

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