Science Forensics Program now in third year!
The idea of Chancellor Emmanuel I. Osagie, Science Forensics: An Academic Pathway in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics is now beginning its third year at Penn State Fayette. New groups of students entering 9th and 10th grade are accepted into the program when it begins a new cycle each summer. The program’s coordinator, Penn State Fayette Instructor of Mathematics Nicole Perret, reports more than three dozen rising 9th graders are participating in the program’s 3-week June camp for 9th graders—and more than a dozen students have already signed up for the 9th grade camp beginning in July. Once in the program, students continue throughout their high school years. This summer a camp for students entering 10th grade is scheduled for July, while members of the original student group that launched the program are now entering 11th grade and will get together for their camp this month.
Ninth-grade Uniontown student Paige Nagy reports the program offers one-on-one help you don’t always get in high school. “The program’s counselors and instructors work with you right away. They made things more interesting than in regular school, so we pay attention and are more focused.”
Dr. Osagie explains, “We saw that there was a group of high school students in the region that needed extra attention. Frankly, the A and B students will do fine. Where we saw a need was with the students earning Cs and Ds. We established this program to help these students develop an interest and an understanding of STEM subjects and how they are part of our every-day world. If we can engage these students and raise them up we will be succeeding.”
Kyli Stoner, a 9th grader from Dunbar, says the program has helped her in both math and science. “With the hands-on activities I learn more, and it helps me to remember it better.” Not only does the program make the subjects exciting to learn, she says, “I learn how math and science applies to real life and how you can use it.”
Both Nagy and Stoner like the opportunity to meet and make friends with students from other area high schools. Nagy explains, “Meeting kids from other schools is helpful, too. We can compare subjects we study.” Stoner says, “It helps to interact and talk with students from other schools. We’ve become close friends because of Science Forensics.”
Cindy Hogan of South Connellsville is glad her son, T.J., is in the Science Forensics program. “The counselors and leaders are so at ease with the kids. I think that’s what makes the kids come alive. They have a great positive attitude and it’s very encouraging for the students.” Hogan says it’s good that the program continues throughout the school year, as well. “The after-school tutoring is a big help, too.”
The program is free for students who are eligible to participate, lunch is provided, and students can earn stipends for attending the program, both the summer camp and the eight weekend sessions during the school year. “I try to recruit more kids for the program. You can’t pass up these kinds of opportunities,” Hogan says.
Area students entering 9th or 10th grade in the fall who are currently earning Cs and Ds in math, science and English can still apply until June 26 to enter the Science Forensics program this summer. Contact Nicole Perret at 724-430-4269 for more information.