Summer = STEM @ Osceola!

This summer has been packed with great activities for future students with a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

On Thursday, July 23, 2015, the Osceola Campus hosted 40 rising high school juniors as part of a two-week Health Leaders Summer Academy sponsored by the Education Foundation of Osceola County. The students toured the campus, met with Valencia and UCF staff and conducted experiments that are used in the medical field to detect diabetes mellitus.

Special thanks to our professors of biology Rick Dexter, Brian Sage, Dheeraj Verma and Flora Chisholm for volunteering their time and sharing their knowledge with these future health leaders.

osc-summer15-stem1-groveDuring July 27 – July 31, 2015, 13 incoming Osceola Campus students participated in a Summer STEM Institute (SSI). During the experience, they “traveled” from Earth to Mars with Captain Orion, explored classical physics with Sir Isaac Newton, made waves and manipulated sound, explored the connection between pH and acid rain and ventured into the world of astrophysics. Moreover, they forged connections with faculty, staff and other Valencia students and they expanded their capacity to be successful college students interested in and choosing to pursue an education and a career in STEM.

osc-summer15-stem2-groveThe overall goal of the SSI is to promote student interest and engagement in STEM in order to create a more diverse STEM workforce in the United States. The summer program is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation under the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program. One of many Valencia activities under the LSAMP grant, the SSI, targets recent high school graduates to promote their awareness of STEM and to enhance their capacity to persist and progress toward a baccalaureate degree in a STEM field.

Special thanks to Eda Davis-Lowe, director of the LSAMP Bridges to Baccalaureate Program and Denise Ross, STEM programs manager, for the leadership in organizing the SSI, as well as to all of the faculty and staff involved in creating such a wonderful experience for our new students.

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