Is doing volunteer summer research with professor good as a high schooler?
I'm a current sophomore and I cold emailed a couple of professors near my local community college and one responded back with a potential research opportunity. However, it's an unpaid position. Was wondering if this will actually boost my chances of acceptance or not and if it'd be better if I just attend a summer research institute like ARISE.
The professor I contacted has a "project that requires geocoding addresses to Census tracts. There’s software that does this, but the software isn’t perfect. Sometimes there are mistakes in the addresses or the addresses are so old that the software cannot find them now. So you would help me troubleshoot these errors, probably using Google maps.
The general aim of the project is to show how the availability of affordable housing affects the health of low-income women."
Is this a worthwhile task for me to do this summer or should I attend a more competitive summer research program?
Do whichever one you are more interested in. If you think you'll learn more at the competitive summer research program, then go for that. If you're genuinely interested in this professor's research, then do that. What's important is that you do the one that most aligns with your actual passions and interests. This will help show your academic interests when you eventually start filling out your college apps. Hope this helped!
I think whatever your heart decides is the right choice. If attending a more competitive summer research program is your taste, then go for it. For me, I would take it easy from the beginning from I want to know or already know and use it, or learn more from what you see too. If this challenge seems good or advanced enough for you, then you can try for more challenging stuff to gain more too. It is all about trying your best and hope for the best.
I hope this helped and good luck in achieving your goal =)
Sorry if this did not...