Pioneer Scholar Spotlight: Nidhi

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“I learned from Pioneer how to do research right!” Pioneer Scholar Nidhi

Pioneer Scholar Nidhi, from Bangalore, India, had two goals when she applied to participate in her Pioneer Research Program. She was hoping the Pioneer program would help her figure out what she wanted to study in college, and she wanted to assure herself that she would be able to handle college level work. On both fronts, she was successful.

Nidhi’s interests are in the science-oriented STEM subjects, so the research fields she included in her application were in areas such as engineering, math, and chemistry. She was happy to be placed in her first choice of engineering, with a research concentration in electronics. She enjoyed the experience so much that she intends to continue to study electronical engineering in college. That accomplished Nidhi’s first goal.

Her second goal was accomplished as well. Through the process of conducting undergraduate-level research with the guidance of a college professor and collaboration with her international cohort of peers, Nidhi learned that she was in fact capable of doing that level of work. What’s more, although there were challenges, she enjoyed the process.

Among the valuable skills that Nidhi learned from her Pioneer Research Program, two stand out: knowing when to ask for help, and recognizing the value of collaboration.

Nidhi’s Pioneer Research Program was a little unusual. Rather than doing research on some existing topic or application, or developing a theoretical answer to a research question, the members of Nidhi’s cohort first created an original device, and then wrote their papers about what they had done. Not surprisingly, this hands-on work didn’t always go smoothly. Problems with understanding how to do the necessary programming, and problems with a malfunctioning part of her device, helped Nidhi learn when to ask her professor for help.

Once she had done the work of building her device, Nidhi needed to learn how to write about it in accepted academic form. In the process, she learned “how to do research right.” She became familiar with scholarly research tools, and how to discern which materials come from reputable sources. When it came time to do the actual writing, Nidhi turned to the Pioneer Writing Center for help. First, she says, she learned writing skills, including the difference between American and British English. Then she learned how to construct an academic paper.

One of Nidhi’s best memories of her experience in the Pioneer Research Program is the collaboration with her international peers from China, Turkey, and Tunisia. “I learned how to work with people from different countries,” she said. As they discussed their research projects, she learned about the cultural differences and issues that led her peers to decide on devices to build that would address needs in their home countries. And when they had to break into two groups to present their work to their peers, she had first-hand experience of the difficulties of in-person collaboration across multiple time zones.

Nidhi hopes to continue her studies in electronical engineering at the University of Toronto in Canada. She will move on to college knowing she already has experience in how to design new products that aim to solve problems and fill needs in our society.

Dear educator friend,

In the critical process of preparing students to transition to college, you are key. The
ramifications of your guidance are far-reaching.

The Pioneer Research Program believes that it, too, has a role to play in preparing students of special potential and passion for learning. This is a role we trust you will appreciate knowing about. Our mission is to offer a deep and otherwise unavailable opportunity to exceptionally motivated young scholars who want to learn and research at the college level and to explore their potential for innovation.

What makes Pioneer a unique deep-dive learning experience is not just the mentorship of distinguished professors. It is the rigorous quality controls developed conjointly by Pioneer and Oberlin College. Professors (must) adhere to rubrics for

1) setting learning goals;

2) syllabus development;

3) oversight, feedback and evaluation, and

4) grading standardization.

This rigorous academic system is supported by thorough admission process and a high-minded ethics code. The combination gives students an exceptional learning experience that is brought to fruition in a college-level research paper documenting their findings.

You can follow this link Pioneer’s concrete academic system to learn more about the academic system. Academic quality control and academic oversight assure Pioneer’s focus is on learning and learners, and therefore all of our practices were built upon the following principles:

No conflict of interests Pioneer’s academic ethical standards
Because of its high academic and ethical standards, the Pioneer program has earned the trust of college admissions departments and formed the basis for the ground-breaking collaboration with Oberlin College. Pioneer scholars get two college credits upon completing their Pioneer research.

Click to learn about Pioneer and Oberlin College's groundbreaking academic collaboration.

Pioneer has a rigorous admission process. Students who have genuine academic interests and are highly motivated are a good fit with Pioneer’s values. Pioneer’s founding board insisted that Pioneer commit to a professor-blind policy during the application process, ensuring that applicants have authentic field interest and correct priorities. Consequently, no information about professors is released before admission to the program. This policy is much appreciated and respected by universities. Professor-blind admission policy
On this page is the critical information needed to meet your needs.

If you have additional questions, feel free to let us know how we can help you by emailing or calling 855-572-8863.


Matthew Jaskol

Founder & Program Director