Students from four area high schools participated in East Central College’s inaugural STEM Scholars Academy June 22-30.
Funded with a grant from the ECC Foundation, the Academy gave students the opportunity to work with ECC faculty on activities related to science, technology and math.
“We covered a variety of topics each day,” noted Fatemeh Nichols, chair of ECC’s science and engineering division. “We began with lab safety and moved on to wetland ecology, environmental chemistry, terrestrial ecology, biotechnology, plant physiology, mathematics, microbiology and human anatomy.” On the final day, the students selected an ECC instructor who will serve as their mentor as they work on a STEM related project during the upcoming school year.
“I was impressed with the willingness of the students to try different things and not just do what was comfortable for them,” Nichols noted. “They were intelligent, conscientious and not afraid to ask questions. I appreciated their eagerness to learn more.”
Nichols stated that students were asked at the beginning of the academy what field they were interested in the most. “For many of them that choice had changed at the end of seven days because they decided they wanted to push themselves to do more.” The academy was open to students who had completed their freshman or sophomore year of high school.
Participating students included: Thomas Ley, Anna Miller and Kallista Stubblefield from New Haven; Charlie Penrod from St. Clair; Sam Emily, Alex Hanneken and Cole Parsons from Union; and Grace Birk and Madi Deters from Washington.
Nichols plans to offer the Academy next year to new students and also give this original group the opportunity to return for more advanced study.