Mishawaka High School Internship

2019 Mishawaka Students

The Notre Dame-Mishawaka High School Internship Program began in 2013, engaging between 10-15 high school students annually in energy-related scholarly activities. Junior and senior students with an interest in STEM may enroll in one or both semesters for a year-long experience.

During each semester, students earn high school credit while conducting research and participating in seminar-style group classes. Students come to Notre Dame’s campus twice a week to conduct energy-related research in an ND Energy affiliated laboratory under the mentorship of a graduate student or postdoctoral scholar. Group classes are held regularly (about 9 times a semester) at Mishawaka High School to discuss energy-related topics and other college preparatory topics of interest.

The main goals of the program are for students to:

  • Experience conducting research in a laboratory;
  • Gain a deeper understanding of STEM topics that are not regularly taught in the classrooms or learned from textbooks;
  • Become more aware of the complexities of global energy issues by studying such topics as the geopolitics of energy, renewable energy and economics, and energy policy; and
  • Develop skills that will help them succeed in college.
2019 Mishawaka Poster Session 2
First Semester

During the first semester, students learn about forms of energy and how policies and geography affect its production, usage, and distribution. Specific topics revolve around the students’ interests and might include aspects of climate change, innovations and the future, energy in the news, or international issues. At the end of the first semester, participants give energy-related presentations to fellow students at Mishawaka High School during regular school hours.

Second Semester
2019 Mishawaka Poster Session 2019

The second semester involves discussions focused on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, specifically those related to energy. Students consider how the goals apply to the world, their hometown, their school, and their personal lives. At the end of the second semester, students present their research during a poster session held in the evening on Notre Dame’s campus. Family, friends, Mishawaka School Board members, teachers and administrators, and laboratory mentors are invited to attend. View poster session participants: 20222019, 2018, 2017, 2016.

Program in Numbers

Since the program began in 2013, there have been 62 students (49 female/13 male) enrolled in the program and 17 different laboratories participating: Kyle Bibby, Peter Burns, Jon Camden, Kyle Doudrick, Ruilan Guo, Gregory Hartland, Jason Hicks, Amy Hixon, Vlad Iluc, Boldizsár Jankó, Svetlana Neretina, William Phillip, Adrian Rocha, Antonio Simonetti, Emily Tsui, Na Wei, Joannes Westerink.

All students have continued their education and are mostly studying chemistry, biology, physics, engineering, and pre-med at Butler University, Hamilton University, Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana University South Bend, Purdue University, St. Mary’s College, University of Indianapolis, University of Notre Dame, and Trine University, to name a few.

For more information or questions about the program, contact Dr. Ginger E. Sigmon at 574-631-6247, gsigmon@nd.edu or Anne Berges Pillai at 574-631-9106, apillai@nd.edu.

2022 WNIT Segment

The following video is a short segment produced by WNIT about the Notre Dame-Mishawaka High School Internship Program and represents comments by student participants and members of the ND Energy team who administer the program.

2019 MHS Video

The following video, produced by Mishawaka High School, showcases the internship program. We invite you to view the entire show or jump to 3:41 to view the segment featuring Dr. Ginger Sigmon and Elizabeth Harvey, Mishawaka High School student and 2019 participant of the ND Energy/Mishawaka High School Internship Program.