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The science and technology experience

Published: May 01, 2013

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Saint Cloud State University chair of the Ethnic Studies Department, Dr. Robert Johnson recently visited The Bahamas to promote his annual math and science summer camps that help students of color consider pursuing a college education.

He was on a three-day visit at the invitation of Angie Collie of Auskell Medical Centre, Abaco. The Collie’s daughter Perkell, who was then a student at Cyber Learning Center, attended the summer camp last July at Saint Cloud State University. Collie was in Saint Cloud during the camp and was able to get first-hand knowledge of how beneficial the camp was not only for her daughter but for all participating students. Her enthusiasm resulted in an invitation to the Johnsons to visit The Bahamas to further promote the camp.

In 2011, five students from the South Andros/Mangrove Cay District attended the Science and Technology Camp at Saint Cloud State University through the collaborative efforts of Sandra Flowers, who was then an adjunct faculty at Saint Cloud State University and Dr. Simmons-Johnson, the then district education officer for South Andros.

Parents Leading And Nurturing, (PLAN) have been at the forefront ensuring that the students in The Bahamas are provided with the option of having a science and technology camp experience at Saint Cloud State University. One of the goals of PLAN, according to  Flowers is to be a beacon of hope and to nurture the talents of students who are interested in learning and achieving.

Flowers said that this year, their efforts to ensure the continuation of Bahamian student participation have been fortified through the presence of the Johnsons and the effort of Collie. She said it is about creating relationships that can help youth grow and develop, especially in the area of science and technology.

Students can attend a five-day, three-week or a four-week program depending on their grade level. Their day begins with breakfast, before they move on to lectures and lab work. Evenings are spent in wholesome activities either in the gym or in the community.

In the five–day program students are exposed to math, science and computer in fun and innovative ways. Sessions for students in third and fourth grades take place June 9-13. Sessions for students in fifth and sixth grades are June 16-20, and sessions for students in seventh and eighth grades are June 23-27.

The four week Scientific Discovery Program takes place July 7 to August 2. The Scientific Discovery Program is a special program for high ability, high potential ninth and tenth grade students who demonstrate a strong interest in science or mathematics. Participants will experience biological, chemical, computer sciences, mathematical, social and statistical sciences through laboratories, special demonstrations, presentations, field trips and lectures.

Participants will use the knowledge and skills they develop to conduct research on topics that have social and environmental significance in their communities. University and practicing scientists will work closely implementing the research projects. Participants will have opportunities to “shadow” a working scientist. Evenings and weekends will feature special presentations and a variety of recreational activities.

The Advanced Program in Technology and Science will be held from July 14-August 2. It is a special program for high-ability, high-potential tenth and eleventh grade students who are seriously interested in a future in technology and science. The goals of the program are to focus on scientific research and to expose students to career options in technology and science.

Parents interested in having their children attend any of the above camps can contact Dr. Robert C. Johnson, program director at the following address: Dr. Robert C. Johnson, Director Summer Camps in Science and Technology, St. Cloud State University, Pre College Programs, 720 Fourth Avenue South, St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498. He can also be reached at telephone: 320-308-2553 or email: PreCollegePrograms@stcloudstate.edu. or facsimilie 320-308-2554.

High School Seniors interested in summer opportunities should consider applying for the Advanced Preparation Program offered by St. Cloud State University’s Multicultural Students Services. In this five-week residential program participants can earn six college level credits, become more familiar with the university, the St. Cloud community and college life. For more information call 320-308-3003, e-mail at mss@stcloudstate.edu or visit the website at stcloudstate.edu/mss. Students must be admitted to St. Cloud State University to participate.

PLAN hopes that school leaders in The Bahamas would encourage student participation in these beneficial programs as the summer is a great time to nurture learning in academic environments like Saint Cloud State University.

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