Morristown, N.J. (July 21, 2015) – The College of Saint Elizabeth Explorations in Science summer program was flooded with applicants almost as soon as it was advertised. The one-week course for female high school seniors had 188 applicants to fill 17 spots. This course was not just for those interested in science; it was an intense week of college-level learning in several fields of science. The program, held on campus during the week of July 12-17, 2015, included working with CSE professors in the newly renovated labs and living as college students in the residence hall with new roommates.
The 17 students traveled from several different points in New Jersey and one from Maryland. They represented several different private and public schools and urban and suburban areas. The students were chosen based on their GPAs and their interest in science.
Dr. Donna Howell, CSE biology professor and leader of several of the activities, said of her charges, "This is the cream of the crop among serious science students. These young women are very intelligent and eager to learn. It was a pleasure to work with them."
The program for the week had the students exploring the science of food in the Foods and Nutrition Labs (why is gluten important to pizza dough?), researching the effectiveness of commercial sanitizing products on a variety of bacteria in the microbiology segments (do hand sanitizers kill all harmful germs?), and delving into the world of forensic chemistry and crime scene investigation. The afternoons were filled with visits to local companies that employ scientist-related professionals: Mars Chocolate North America, Johnson & Johnson – Ethicon, Rutgers Medical School, and the Bronx Zoo. All gave tours and talked to the students about the sciences involved in their products or services.
Katherine Barry, a foods and nutrition senior and a foods lab aide noted that the program, "gives the high school students a good idea of what they are getting into and where they might want to focus their efforts." Barry was overseeing the experimentation concerning the importance of gluten in pizza dough.
"My favorite part about the summer science program at the College of Saint Elizabeth was the microbiology lab and the trip to MARS. Since I was torn between a career in pharmacy and a career in chemical engineering those two activities allowed me to decide which career I would enjoy doing most. Thanks to the summer science program at the College of Saint Elizabeth I was able to choose chemical engineering as my future career," explained Brianna Avery, a rising senior at John D. Dwyer Technology Academy in Elizabeth, N.J.
"The program was an incredible experience – the free Mars chocolate vending machines, the unexpected cadaver at Rutgers medical school, creating our own perfumes, a personalized tour through Ethicon – all unimaginably enriching. It truly highlighted why we pursue the sciences," enthused Amanda Cheng, a rising senior at West Morris Mendham High School in Mendham, N.J.
Another student Adebola Adeagbo, a rising senior at St. Vincent's Academy in Irvington N.J., said, "Attending the College of Saint Elizabeth's Explorations in Science for Women program really expanded my knowledge of the possible careers available when picking a science major."
This program is supported in part by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies through the Independent College Fund of New Jersey.