In mid-March, Cornell and Johns Hopkins began preparing our communities for the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar to many universities across the country, spring breaks were lengthened, semester classes were moved online and finally, summer campus activities began to be cancelled. This should have included our 2020 REU program. Nevertheless, in early April, the PARADIM management team decided to move forward with a remote REU experience.
This was certainly new ground for a program that normally exposes undergraduates to hands-on experimental experiences. Each project needed to be modified to allow for a remote experience for the undergraduate interns. Thanks to the willingness and creativity of our team of great REU mentors at Cornell and Johns Hopkins our 2020 program is in full swing.
All of our candidates and mentors were willing to continue so it was full-speed-ahead. Our first step was to give out mentors access to GoPro cameras to make it possible for them to live stream an experiment from the PARADIM facilities.
"I want to say that the fact that this REU is pressing forward is incredible! I'm so thankful that you and all the other organizers and mentors have put in the time and effort to make sure this program still happens. So many people I know have had their research experiences cancelled due to COVID-- here at Penn they cancelled all the physics REUs -- so I am very grateful that you all are doing whatever it takes to keep this program alive and kicking.
Thank you again!"
Rachael K. (University of Pennsylvania)
Cornell University REU 2020 Participant