For the 22nd year, students at Montclair High School recently took part in the Weston Science Scholars, a partnership between Montclair State University and the public school district that gives selected ninth, tenth and returning 11th grade students the opportunity to study science hands-on.
“Math, science and technology are critical to human kind. The program recognizes high-achieving students with significant potential in science, mathematics and related fields,” an announcement provided by Montclair High School science teacher Lynn English, who co-directs the program with fellow teacher Dee Portas, said.
Through the program, 38 students in six cohorts are spending five weeks using the scientific method “to study everything from racism to jellyfish,” the university said in its own announcement of the 2021 program. Topics of research include astrophysics, marine biology, evolutionary/DNA biology, hydrogeology and neuroscience, among others, English’s announcement said.
In addition, the students study a mathematics component of statistics and calculus pertinent to their research, English said. The students presented their results at a colloquium on July 28.
The program was founded by former Automatic Data Processing CEO Josh Weston, 93, and his late wife, Judy, with the college and public school district 22 years ago.
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Weston “showed that his enthusiasm for the summer science program remains as high as ever as he peppered this year’s cohort of high school students with questions, hopping among various buildings, laboratories and classrooms on the Montclair State campus to learn about experiments in marine biology, physics, genomic sequencing, cybersecurity, magnetic imaging and more,” the university announcement said.
The mentored laboratory research experience helps teach students what it means to fail and succeed, English said in her announcement of the program.
Students also hear from guest speakers in various aspects of STEM careers. English said field excursions will resume once the Montclair Board of Education approves such activities. School plans for the fall are still evolving because of the ongoing threat of coronavirus transmission.
The students can earn high school credits in science toward graduation if all requirements are met for the program. They also conduct several hours of community service in order to achieve full credit.
This year’s participants are: Ela Algar, Eliza Bender, Christopher Borgen, Elke Brown, Drew Chichester, Emily Dia, Sophia Draxler, Logan Driever, Anjel Fierst, Katrina Gallione, Maya Gerdes, Asha Giancaspro, Lucas Gilson, Mikey Hadley, Kaia Hunkins, Matthew Hymowitz, Harper Keenan, Mert, Kiran, Maxwell Korenbaum, Samuel Korenbaum, Ellen Last, Lauren Loflin, Aline McElwee, Kudus Magistu, Charles Moroze, Tylan Ozkuzey, Namia Palmer, Christina Qiu, Leland Rogers, Joshua Stout, Annabelle Svenson, Estelle Svenson, Elsa Taylor-Lillquist, Alexander Thomas, Anisa Uddin and Ryan Unruh.