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Rising local high school students get hands-on Science, Math lessons at WFU

By Jacob McConnico
336.758.5237
June 3, 2004

Fifty local students representing the future of diverse careers like engineering, meteorology, forensic science, accounting and architecture will spend June 7 - 18 at Wake Forest University participating in fun science and math experiments, hearing from locals working in science and math related fields and learning how to develop a strong college application package.

The SciMax Student Enrichment Institute, a program funded by the National Science Foundation and organized in partnership by Wake Forest and the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, brings rising high school students, who have been nominated by their middle school teachers, to Wake Forest in an effort to prepare them for the rigors of high school science and math courses, while also increasing their enjoyment of science and math.

“One of the great things about this program is that we use exciting activities that get the students engaged,” said Angela King, senior lecturer in chemistry at Wake Forest and director of the program. “The students get excited about the activities they do, while they are learning the principles behind the activities and they are gaining academic skills that will serve them in all of their classes in high school.”

Students in the program meet for six hours each day and participate in a variety of experiments led by four local high school teachers. Experiments include a stock market tracking activity designed to teach basic principles of math, dissection of a fetal pig and a test on the behavior of termites using a pheromone found in some marking pens.

A new activity planned this year challenges students to construct a catapult out of rubber bands, plastic spoons and other building materials. The catapults will be used to launch candy. The experiment is a fun way for students to learn about math and physics.

During the program, students also participate in daily sessions with guest lecturers engaged in careers that relate to science and math. A few of the guest lecturers include a crime scene investigator, an actuary, a local technology entrepreneur, researchers from Wake Forest and a meteorologist. Members of the Wake Forest library staff have arranged a tour for the student participants and admissions experts will lead an information session on how to develop an effective college application package.

Note to Editors: To arrange coverage of the SciMax Student Enrichment Institute or to interview Angela King or other program participants, please contact Jacob McConnico at 336-758-5237 or mcconnjn@wfu.edu.


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