Devin Doyel graduated from Arlington’s Martin High School last year with a set of high-tech skills most people will never learn.
He knew how to use SolidWorks, a 3-D mechanical computer-aided design program employed by engineers worldwide. And he had assisted on numerous advanced research projects, including one to build a structure to hold loose circuits on a robot.
This specialized experience came courtesy of the UT Arlington Research Institute’s high school internship program, which enables students from Arlington high schools to work about nine hours a week alongside UTARI researchers.
“My internship with UTARI really helped fuel my interest in science and engineering,” Doyel says. “I was pushed out to the edge of technology where I could watch and contribute to advancements.”
The internship also helped him choose UT Arlington after graduation. “I became more acquainted with UTA’s engineering program. I knew it could get me where I wanted to go.”
An engineering freshman, Doyel is now a paid UTARI intern, hard at work on the biodigit, a bioreactor device to advance tissue regeneration in finger wounds.
Eileen Clements, UTARI’s research director, says the internship provides hands-on experience that will benefit a career while also promoting a love of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
“Students need to see something that gets them excited, something that shows them how this work can directly and positively impact society,” she says. “Any opportunity we have to help students develop a lifelong passion for the STEM areas can have a huge impact on the field of science.”