Northwestern hosts Science Research Institute for high school students
Program prepares high school students for further education and careers in science and math
July 26—On July 6 Northwestern College welcomed 18 high school students to campus for the Science Research Institute (SRI), a five-week program designed to encourage and prepare high school students for further education and careers in science and math. The students were selected out of more than 80 applicants and come primarily from urban high schools.
Students and teachers from local high schools, along with Northwestern professors and undergraduates, participate in two weeks of environmental science and ecology research followed by two weeks of mathematical analysis of their data. During the final week of the program, students will put together a presentation of their work to be given at a research symposium in September, as well as other area high schools during the school year.
“It’s not often that you see kids wanting to do science and math,” said Mike Sharp, a Northwestern senior mentor majoring in biochemistry. “SRI is a good program for high school students that want to learn a lot in math and science. It’s also a good place for college students to be able to relate to, and encourage the generation right behind them.”
Northwestern student mentors help facilitate discussion and field experiments such as identifying aquatic organisms or classifying species. Their involvement in the program not only facilitates growth in their field of study, but serves as an opportunity to develop teaching and leadership skills.
“This position is definitely preparing me for work with diverse students,” said Sarah Evans, a senior mentor majoring in math education. “I have learned different strategies for guiding discussion and allowing the students to do the work with little help.”
Associate Professor of Biology Joanna Klein, Ph.D., along with colleagues at Concordia University in St. Paul, started constructing the program more than five years ago. SRI is now in its fourth year, offering the five-week program at both Northwestern and Concordia. Funding has been provided through several local corporations and foundations including Boston Scientific, Medtronic, H.B. Fuller and F.R. Bigelow.
3003 Snelling Avenue North | St. Paul, MN | 55113-1598 | 651-631-5100 or 800-692-4020