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Why a Polygence Pod Might Work for You

3 minute read

woman standing in a classroom, hugging a textbook

Using Polygence is an amazing way to deep dive into your own passion project.

With our core high school research program, you can work one-on-one with an expert researcher in your chosen field, you can get personal feedback and advice, you can showcase your work, and all of that has been proven to give you an edge in college applications.

That said, the program is not ideal for everyone. Considering that our mission has always been to offer excellent research opportunities to as many students as humanly possible, we wanted to find out why it didn’t work for some of you. And to bridge that gap. As a way to address some of the challenges and concerns we’ve heard voiced the most, we created Polygence Pods.

Is it right for you? It might be. Let’s see if any of these comments resonate with you, and how Pods addresses them.

7 Benefits of Using Polygence Research Pods

1. “I don’t have a lot of time.”

Maybe school is really intense right now. Maybe you are too busy being amazing at too many other things. But say you still have an itch to create a D&D character or you have an idea for a cool way to use AI or you’d like to pursue another interest when you can fit it in your schedule. At 6 weeks in length, Pods are a much lower commitment than most other research programs, including our own 10-week core program. You don’t need a lot of lead time either. You don’t need to write an essay to get in or get letters of recommendation. You just need to check our offerings, sign up for the Pod that sings to you, and put in your scheduling request. We’ll do the rest. The Pods take an hour a week with projects that are exciting and manageable. There’s no grade. If you’re feeling totally inspired and ambitious, you can go full-on and scale up your project into a life-changing assignment. Or if you’re feeling daunted, you can dial it back to what you’re comfortable with. 

2. “I don’t have a big budget.”

Pods are a cost-effective way to dive into something you’re curious about with an expert and a small cohort of students who are just as enthusiastic about the subject matter as you are. You’d be hard-pressed to find another such opportunity at the $500 price point. That said, if you are interested in doing a 10-week Polygence mentorship and you don’t have the funds, we do offer partial scholarships for need-based financial aid. One of our core missions is, after all, to democratize in-depth research opportunities. 

3. “Nobody I know is as excited about [fill in the blank here] as I am.”

Are you super into gene editing, investing, social justice, or some other topic that not a lot of people around you are interested in? Find your passion tribe through a Pod cohort. Chances are that the people signing up for the topic you’re interested in will be the community you’re looking for. New topics are released monthly so if you don’t see a topic you like, check out upcoming months. 

The Polygence Pathfinders Program

Pathfinders is a career discovery mentorship experience designed to help you explore different career paths and gain more clarity about your future. Learn from three world class mentors in the fields of your choice and discover your passions!

4. “My other project fell through at the last minute.”

Say you had a freak gardening accident and now your strawberry farming/gene splicing internship isn’t possible, what with your right arm in a cast. Or you didn’t get that lifeguard position you wanted. Pods are a good backup plan. As we mentioned, you don’t need a lot of lead time, and signing up is a breeze. It gives you a good way to add spark to those empty weeks on the calendar.

5. “I think I’m into this… but I’m not 100% sure what this even is.”

If your curiosity is spurred by a topic, but you just want to dip your toe in the water and not invest a ton of time and energy into it, Pods are an amazing way to investigate. You’ll be able to discuss all your questions with an expert, which makes learning a lot faster than trying to research the topic all by yourself. This leads us to….

6. “I want to learn a lot about something quickly.”

The fact that Pods require less time doesn’t take away from the complexity of the subject matter and the intensity with which the subject will be discussed. In fact, this condensed program might propel you further and faster through the material than you thought possible. Discussions are led by an expert mentor from a top university, and the pace of the class will also be driven by the curiosity and energy of a passionate group of students. This is not something you can replicate on your own. There’s something about listening to other students’ questions and being able to bounce ideas around and get them instantly addressed by a knowledgeable teacher that propels learning forward exponentially. 

7. “I’m on the younger side.”

Maybe you’re already programming amazing apps in your spare time, but you’re only a rising freshman in high school or even in middle school. Your family might not be willing to fund a mentorship program for you just yet. But they might think twice about signing you up for a Pod in your age group. 

Did we miss something?

If you have any other concerns about the Polygence core mentorship program or these new Pods, we’d love to hear from you. We’re always trying to refine our offerings so that they work with your schedule, budget, interests, and research needs. 

Complete a research project in just 6-weeks!

Dive into highly concentrated content on a specific topic with the guidance of expert mentors in artificial intelligence, computer science, finance and creative writing, and build your own unique project in just 6 weeks!

Computer Science Student