Science teachers at Dawson are offering a summer 2017 brain imaging internship to help interested students from any program gain essential knowledge about working in research beyond the CÉGEP level.
Already in its third edition, the internship will partner once again with some notable universities and research institutions such as McGill University and Université de Montréal to offer as Dr. Maria Dikeakos, a Dawson physics teacher supervising the internship, explains: “a true representation of the type of work that is involved when [the students] are doing research in the real world and in university.”
Furthermore, the internship’s multidisciplinary aspect mentioned by both Dr. Dikeakos and Dr. Hélène Nadeau, founder of the internship and current Dawson physics teacher, shines through its wide array of possible tasks ranging from programming, hardware-related work, to psychological analyses of results.
“It could be basically any student in Dawson who is interested in any aspect of [the internship]”, says Dr. Nadeau.
The internship takes place yearly from early June to late August during which biweekly meetings are held at the college on top of possible time spent at a research institution. As well, it is split between a theoretical part in June where the necessary knowledge is taught through student presentations followed by a two month research period.
The many research project topics will again, this year, be based around the usage of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electroencephalogram (EEG), two essential brain mapping tools.
Ikram Aslam, a second year Health Science student who participated last summer in an EEG project, comments on the EEG-type project’s student-generated research approach: “The process of the project was thinking of a problem and then testing it.”
Alternatively, Chelsea Chisholm, a second year Pure and Applied Science student who worked in an MRI-type project with the Université de Montréal details how she had to clean and analyze around 80 MRI brain scans for the purpose of an ongoing study by university researchers.
In terms of time requirements, both Dr. Nadeau and Mr. Aslam point to the EEG projects as being not too demanding with a commitment of 10 to 15 hours per week. As for the research institution-associated MRI projects, Dr. Nadeau estimates about 20 to 30 hours a week of work. However, she also states that the time commitment is really up to the students’ own interest in the internship: “what you get out of the internship is proportional to what you put in.”
For those interested in taking part in this summer’s internship, the sign up period is expected to begin around March or April through the Dawson Portal and will end in late May. In addition, anyone who is interested can, at any time, also directly contact Dr. Hélène Nadeau through MIO.