Morristown, N.J. (July 12, 2017) – Rising seniors in high school all across New Jersey applied for the opportunity to spend a week at the College of Saint Elizabeth exploring science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. Fourteen students were chosen from a pool of dozens of applicants to participate in the week that began with their arrival on Sunday, July 9, 2017.
Erin Colfax, the program director, explained the purposes of the week of intensive learning.
"It gives students who are pre-collegiate an opportunity to experience a college campus while interacting with professionals and professors in STEM fields," she explains. "Not every student knows exactly what they want to be in the future but they may have an area that they're curious about and we're helping them take the abstractness out of the curiousness and make it a little more concrete."
Each morning the students spent about a half hour discussing the many areas of STEM study.
Student Amrit Chauhan of Edison, N.J., who is interested in computer science, noted, "It's an engaging experience that gives us great exposure and better understanding of all of the careers within science, technology, engineering and mathematics."
Students lived in a residence hall where they learned a bit about college life. Their activities ranged from dissecting sheep brains, studying urban farming and taking field trips to Gateway National Park (Sandy Hook) for marine biology lessons, to understanding actuary science. The guest speakers have included professionals in the healthcare field, science writers and a representative from the U.S. Patent Attorney's Office.
Jaelyn Stewart, of West Orange, N.J., was impressed by the hands-on learning environment. "It's a great experience because I would never have been able to do a microbiology lab at my school," she says. "It's been great meeting new people and doing so many interesting activities."
Colfax encourages this type of immersive learning because it exposes students to the vast array of careers available within the STEM field.
Ana Caro Del Castillo, of Hillsborough, N.J., applied to the program because of CSE's sophisticated facilities and stellar faculty. "I would have never gotten a chance to work with college level equipment otherwise and I received a lot of useful tips," says Castillo, who plans to become a doctor. "It was really beneficial to listen to professors give guidance about the best way to achieve my dream."
The Explorations in Science program is supported in part by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies through the Independent College Fund of New Jersey.
Also in the program were Daniela Alves, of Edison, N.J., Morgan Brevard, of Orange, N.J., Cindy Caceras, of Elizabeth, N.J., Daniel Champagne, of Butler, N.J., Leona Duffour, of Roselle, N.J., Aleksandra Golda, of North Arlington, N.J, Carolina Jimenez, of Cliffside Park, N.J., Kristen Liloia, of Cranford, N.J., Jenifer Newport, of Cranford, N.J., Ingy Razouk, of Edison, N.J. and Susan Sagliocco, of South Amboy, N.J.