NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Rutgers University will host 50 high school students in its second Annual 4-H Summer Science Program for urban youths at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences from July 12 to 16.
These high school students from Camden, Englewood, Newark, New Brunswick, Paterson and Trenton will learn about science and explore research in a series of interactive activities, and gain a better understanding of opportunities available in science, engineering, and technology. Opening activities take place on July 12 in Multipurpose Rooms A, B and C, Cook Campus Center, 59 Biel Road, New Brunswick, NJ.
"We’re really excited to work with our urban youth in this science, engineering and technology (SET) 4-H program. The Rising Above the Gathering Storm report, produced by the National Academies in 2006, highlighted the shortage of highly qualified educators and mentors who can translate and teach science, engineering, technology, and math content and skills. 4-H is doing its part to prepare and empower our youth to get involved in a career in science," said Janice McDonnell, 4-H SET agent.
A 2007 report from the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges identifies science, engineering, technology, and math for youth as a growth area. National 4-H later unveiled SET as a critical part of its mandate and Rutgers Cooperative Extension is poised to play a vital role in creating interest and competency in these areas.
These urban youths, most of whom will be enjoying their first 4-H experience, will participate in several hands–on activities as they explore biochemistry, biotechnology, marine and environmental sciences, and engineering alongside a number of Rutgers faculty from these disciplines.
"The students are very excited about the opportunity to spend a week with Rutgers scientists – touring their labs, learning about their research and how their work is applicable to our daily lives. The opportunity to live on campus for a week and get a taste of university life is an important time for them, as they think about their futures and where they want to be in a few years," said Chad Ripberger, Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H agent, Mercer County.
Participants have competed their freshman year in high school and were selected based on teacher recommendations and participation in an extensive application process that included writing an essay and interviews by their local 4-H staff. Each of the selected youth participants has agreed to provide a minimum of 50 hours of service to their local 4-H program, committing to work with 4-H staff in their community to provide science-focused after-school and summer programming to younger youth and children.
The program will conclude on Friday, July 16, with a poster session in which youth share what they have learned with faculty, parents and other guests, prior to a closing luncheon in the Cook Campus Center.
Key collaborators in this annual urban summer science program are 4-H of Bergen, Camden, Essex, Mercer, Middlesex and Passaic counties and 4-H SET staff who have worked to expand the university’s outreach in the urban communities of the state and creating interest and competency in the areas of science, engineering and technology.
The 4-H Summer Science Program is funded by a gift from Tyco International and a Community Enhancement Award, which is a Rutgers Cooperative Extension grant.
Media Contact: Chad Ripberger