“Polaris has been instrumental in giving me a feel of what research is going to be like. It has taught me how to do science communication in research. I feel more confident and prepared to do research now.” – Aditi Fulsundar
“Polaris was an incredible experience, specially for students like us who are pretty new to the world of physics. You learn a lot of stuff, some non-academic aspects of the physics community and also things like your own little research project, which is all great experience. But the best part for me was getting to know some of the senior, graduate students, and the advice you can get from them! Every single student new to the physics world would benefit from the class. ” – Arijit Das
“Polaris was an instrumental piece of my journey towards who I am today. I had initially chosen my major (physics and math) based on the subjects I happened to be good at in high school, so I had no idea what I wanted my future to be. URSA was the first time I was introduced to astronomy as a serious scientific endeavor, inspiring me to later declare astronomy as a major and pursue graduate school in the field. Preparing a poster of a mini research project increased my confidence, made me feel like a scientist, and demystified much of the research process. With the experience of completing a research project and presentation, I was much more prepared for later more serious research I would complete later in college. I also found the lessons during the program valuable in orienting me in college and building lifelong skills. I still remember learning how a three-person group is the perfect size since everyone can take turns being the leader and people tend to share work more fairly than in larger groups.
In addition to all the lessons I learned, I started friendships which I still have today and am incredibly grateful for. All of this was accomplished with an entirely virtual program during the first year of URSA, so I can only imagine how much more valuable this program has become with time and having moved in-person. All in all, Polaris helped me learn valuable lessons, build wonderful friendships, and develop a scientific identity from the very beginning of my college career.” – Daniel Boyea