Rochester Local Section (Chartered in 1912)

Project SEED

The Rochester Section of the American Chemical Society is an active participant in Project SEED: Summer Education Experience for the Disadvantaged. Project SEED places economically disadvantaged high school students in academic, industrial, and government research laboratories for eight-to-ten weeks during the summer to learn what it's like to work as part of a team doing hands-on research.  Local Chairperson for Project Seed is Lea Vacca Michel.  She can be contacted at

2014 Project Seed Online Applications open to coordinators/mentors on October 31, 2013

To Contact National Project Seed

Application Schedule


PROJECT SEED Winners for 2013

In 2013, The Rochester School of the Arts was awarded two scholarships.


Tamia Jones, going into senior year at the School of the Arts, spent the summer working with professor Gabrielle Gaustad from the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at Rochester Institute of Technology.  Jones worked on Environmentally Preferable End-of-Life Management for Li-ion Batteries.  Her work contributed to the project that will develop economical, environmentally preferable technologies for Li-ion battery recovery.  The picture shows Jones sorting battery parts by size.

 At the end of program, Jones was able to present her work in poster form. She expressed, I was able to show case my work right alongside college students and that gave me a real sense of satisfaction. I am a very lucky high school student who was able to get a small taste of what I will be doing in the future; this experience further backed my desire to join the science field later on in my life.


Caleb Whittier, also at School of the Arts, had a rare opportunity to spend the summer working with Professor John-David Rocha from the School of Chemistry and Materials Science at Rochester Institute of Technology.  Whittier worked on understanding gel-based chromatographic separations of single-walled carbon nanotubes using spectrofluorometric analysis for use in renewable energy.





Project SEED was established in 1968 to help economically disadvantaged high school students expand their education and career outlook. The program provides opportunities for students who historically lack exposure to scientific careers to spend a summer conducting hands-on research with a scientist in academic, industry, and government research laboratories. Students receive a fellowship award for their efforts and a chance to receive a SEED college scholarship.

The Opportunities

For 8 to 10 weeks, SEED students have the unique opportunity to work with scientists, who help them develop laboratory, written and oral skills as they discover that they are capable of conducting scientific research. Mentors also provide guidance, encouragement, and letters of recommendation for college.

The Institutions

Project SEED students gain research experience in academic, industrial, and governmental research laboratories through the guidance of scientist-mentors. Over the past four decades, more than 350 institutions have sponsored more than 8,500 high school students to work on scientific research projects.

The Students and Mentors

In addition to hands-on research, Project SEED students receive guidance on their career and personal development. Mentors and students build relationships that help to expand their awareness and understanding of the workforce. Mentors provide strategies for helping students reach their objectives, give feedback, and allow opportunities for growth.

Professional Networking


Each fall, SEED students work side-by-side with professional chemists to present their research projects at ACS local, regional and national meetings, and at other scientific meetings. Presenting their summer research findings gives students exposure to chemists, engineers, and college students who review their research and motivate them to pursue science careers.

Types of SEED Programs

Summer I Program

The Summer I program is for first-time Project SEED participants who are given a scientific research project in chemistry or a related field under the direct supervision of a scientist-mentor. Students receive a fellowship award.

Summer II Program

The Summer II program provides Project SEED Summer I students with an additional summer of scientific research. Students either continue their research from the previous summer or begin a new research project. These students also receive a fellowship award. Summer II students may be eligible for a travel grant to present their research at ACS meetings or other scientific meetings.

Project SEED Scholarships

Through the generosity of private corporations and individual donors, Project SEED participants are eligible to compete for a nonrenewable college scholarship. Scholarships are given to students who will major in a chemical science field such as chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, or materials science. The scholarships are intended to assist former SEED participants in their transition from high school to college.

ACS awarded 50 scholarships totaling $250,000 for the 2006-2007 academic year thanks to Alfred and Isabel Bader, the Bayer Foundation, Hach Scientific Foundation, Russel J. Fosbinder, and Glenn and Barbara Ullyot.


The ACS Project SEED (Summer Educational Experience for the Disadvantaged) summer research program opens new doors for economically disadvantaged students to experience what it’s like to be a chemist. Students entering their junior or senior year in high school are given a rare chance to work alongside scientist-mentors on research projects in industrial, academic, and federal laboratories, discovering new career paths as they approach critical turning points in their lives.

If you are interested in becoming a Project SEED Mentor or Student, or to get more info on the program, please contact Dr. Lea Vacca Michel (

For more details

2015 Chair Contacts

Need help finding information.  Check the attachment below to contact the right person.


Rochester ACS Group

To facilitate networking, collaborate on ideas and exchange job information.

Jim Reynolds (coordinator)

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