Morristown, N.J. (July 19, 2016) – Rising seniors in high school all across New Jersey applied for the opportunity to spend a week at CSE exploring science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. Eighteen students were chosen from a pool of 77 applicants to participate in the week that began with their arrival on Sunday, July 10, 2016.
Erin Colfax, the program director, explained the purposes of the week of intensive learning.
"We want to give them the myriad of possibilities a STEM education can offer," she explains. "We are also showing them, through our guest speakers, how they might combine several skill sets into a career – such as a biochemist who became a lawyer specializing in medical and pharmaceutical patents. They are learning about some of the more unusual professions in STEM, such as a sound therapist who works with patients undergoing surgery to foster faster healing."
Each morning the students spent about a half hour discussing the many areas of STEM study.
Student Manuela Palacio of Morristown, N.J., noted, "I now have a deeper appreciation for science and the many fields with which science can be combined. I also have new friends!" Palacio is leaning toward a career in pediatric medicine.
Students lived in a residence hall where they learned a bit about college life. Their activities ranged from dissecting sharks to learning computer programming, taking field trips to Gateway National Park (Sandy Hook) for marine biology lessons, to creating and testing biodiesel fuels. The guest speakers have included science and medical writers, client relations professionals in environmental sciences, and a clinical trials director from a pharmaceutical company.
Vanessa Roman from Elizabeth, N.J., wants to pursue biochemistry. "I have enjoyed seeing the many aspects of the sciences and learning about opportunities. I really enjoyed the shark dissection!"
Emily Metzger of Allamuchy, N.J., and a student at the Academy of Saint Elizabeth, said that this week was an eye-opening experience. "I have learned that there are so many different applications for science. This has been like a test run for college – we even get homework!" Metzger is exploring the career field of genetics.
Colfax said that this group of students were very high energy and very eager to learn. "They are very serious about their future and open to different careers they can pursue."
Bradley Romeus, from Roselle, N.J., said, "This is a very interesting program! My favorite activity so far was the shark dissection. I plan on majoring in biology and eventually attend dental school."
The Explorations in Science program is supported in part by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies through the Independent College Fund of New Jersey.