Wave of the Future: In Their Own Words

Uploaded by usnistgov on 23.03.2011

[ Waves and Music ]
[Female] The SURF program here at NIST is 100 times better
than anything I could have ever expected.
[Male] I wasn't real sure about what to expect.
I wasn't sure if I was going to be in a labcoat,
or I was just gonna be sitting in an office.
[Female] It's been an experience seeing different cultures
and interacting with them more.
Definitely a little different than being at home or school.
[Male] Actually, they treat us like scientists, like engineers.
[Female] The other programs, they didn't offer as much.
They didn't have as many opportunities.
They didn't pay as much.
[Male] I expected a lot of pressure and things like that.
But it was really friendly, calm environment.
[Female] You're in the best place you can be this summer.
This is top of the line.
[Female] It was an extraordinary experience getting to work
with equipment and instruments
that I would have never seen before.
[Female] Everything's right at the tips of your fingers.
If you need anything, the best technology's next door.
[Male] You're learning, you're getting paid,
you're having a good time, and having fun.
[Female] They treat you on a professional level,
so it's less telling you what to do.
I think they try and really integrate you into their project
like an active team member.
[Male] It's really shown me how I can mix computer science
and physics.
[Female] Learning about how different research is taking
place and how everything kind of works together in order
to build a different product.
[Female] You just get to absorb the environment and go
to all these talks where you get to hear about things
that you don't understand, and you hope
that someday you will be able to understand them.
[Female] This is nice.
I really get to focus on research, and I get an idea
of what I might really be doing 10, 20, 30 years from now.
[Male] They basically showed me what it would be
like to be a scientist.
[Male] What they're giving us is the chance to say, "Hey,
this is really what you want to do the rest of your life?"
[Female] The SURF program has given me a general idea
of what it takes to be a scientist.
[Female] The most important thing that I've learned is
to use everything I've learned.
[Female] Here we're working 40 hours a week all the time
in the lab.
It's very intensive.
[Male] It's a real world application given to us
at the undergraduate level which would help us
when we actually work in the real world and in industry.
[Female] This is really exciting.
This is what I want to do.
And I've got advice from scientists around NIST,
and that's really helped a lot.
[Female] This is what the people are like.
This is what the environment's like.
This is how it's going to be.
[Female] My advisor's awesome.
[Male] He's really guided me a lot.
He's there when I have a problem.
[Female] He just goes out and does everything for me.
He's introduced me to people that I need to know if I want
to go into fire research.
[Male] At the same time he gave me my space.
He allowed me to do the work myself,
and then if I had a problem I could come to him.
[Female] Both of them are really patient, really helpful,
and they encourage me to do many things.
[Male] My advisor just told me,
"Here's the manuals, so go ahead, do it.
You have some question, just ask me."
[Female] He'll take time out at any point in time
to explain something to me that I don't understand.
[Male] He doesn't close doors for me.
He lets me make suggestions, you know, open up for my ideas
and then comment on them.
I was learning something every day.
[Female] It's like having someone there all 8 hours
of the day to help me along every time I get lost
because that happens quite a bit.
[Female] I think the best thing about the SURF program is
that it gives the students the opportunity to work one-on-one
with leading NIST scientists.
[Female] By the time he sat down with me from the beginning,
and explained to me what we were going to be doing,
what we were going to be making,
and what the results possibly could be, and it gave me a goal.
[Female] The thing I like best about the SURF experience is
that I get to use a wide variety of machines,
as opposed to just focusing in on one machine.
[Male] It gives you more of a motivation
that you could almost be the first to achieve something.
[Female] Here you're focused only on your research.
You're always thinking about that.
And that's the different part.
You work more here than you do at school.
[Female] This is not someone telling you what
to do and how to do it.
You have to think on your own.
You have to go out and do your own little projects.
People really look at that and say, "Wow!
You did that while you were an undergraduate?"
[Male] Even though you make mistakes,
they're not going to beat on you.
They'll allow you to play with their tools and learn from them.
You will apply it and see the results then and there.
[Female] It's really exciting.
I feel like I've made a significant contribution
to this research.
And I'm just really excited to be back.
And I would definitely do it again.
[Female] It really helps to see that you're going
to finish something at the end of the summer
that really makes a difference,
and that actually has an application.
[Female] The accommodations are better than I expected.
They give us nice housing.
It's fully furnished.
[Male] Wow!
This is where I'm going to live for the next 3 months?
This is like a hotel.
It's like a resort.
[Female] A fully furnished apartment that's as nice
as what you live in at home.
Not at school, at home-home.
[Female] The maid service is great.
You never have to do any linens or anything like that.
[Female] The best thing about SURF is the people I've met.
[Male] We always do things in groups.
We all rent movies and we all come over to one apartment
and watch all the movies there,
or we'll all go out to the movies.
[Female] The metrorail is right down the road.
[Female] We're experiencing all these different things in D.C.
for the first time for a lot of us.
[Male] Like we'll go to the museums, or anywhere,
we always go in a pack.
[Female] I met people working in the SURF program
from all walks of life.
[Male] The best thing I like is to go
to amusement parks and have fun.
[Female] Everyone else there is dying to make friends
and to keep long-lasting relationships.
[Female] I've met people
that will probably be friends for life.
[Male] You should come.
It's a good experience.
I had fun.
I don't see why you wouldn't want to try it.
There's no need to limit yourself.
[Female] I think everything you get
out of it is definitely positive.
[Female] You have the experience of what you'll learn is going
to be beneficial to you in whatever you pursue afterwards.
[Male] This experience is like the beginning
of the rest of my life.
[Female] You're going to be growing as a scientist,
and you're going to meet a lot of people,
and you're going to like it.
[Female] Introduce you to a whole new aspect of life
that you didn't know, and take advantage of it.
[Male] It opened up new opportunities.
[Female] The SURF program is a place you would go
if you're thinking about doing any kind of science research.
[Male] SURF is the best program I have ever been into.
SURF is the best.
[Female] This summer at NIST is going to look really wonderful
on the whole resume and application process
because there's a lot of prestige going with working
as an undergraduate at the National Institute
of Standards and Technology.