University of Richmond summer program allows middle and high school students to explore STEM disciplines
The University of Richmond’s Math Science Investigators program encourages middle and high school students from Richmond City Public Schools to discover new methods of engaging with science, drugs technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.
About 150 students, ranging from eighth to tenth grade, are participating this summer in the eleventh annual MSI program, which will run through July 23. The major goal of the program is to better prepare students to enroll in Advance Placement classes, the International Baccalaureate program and honors courses in math and science.
Instructors from schools throughout the region teach courses on everything from algebra to earth science to introduction to robotics. Participating students are exposed to math and science professionals through presentations and workshops, and take field trips to educational sites, including Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, Luray Caverns and the Math Science Innovation Center. Tenth graders are provided the opportunity to conduct research in a lab alongside a UR undergraduate student.
“We want to increase the number of urban students in the STEM pipeline who are preparing to assume responsible roles as math and science professionals,” said Waide Robinson, an adjunct education professor and director of the MSI program. “We are preparing these students for a brighter future by helping them understand what it means to work hard, but we have a lot of fun while doing it.”
Chelsie Motley participated in the MSI program for five years, three of which were in the mentor/mentee research program. The recent Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School graduate will be attending Johns Hopkins University in the fall, where she plans to pursue a double major in neuroscience and writing seminars. She aspires to a career in research, and would like to teach at the higher education level.
“MSI allowed me to work with UR faculty and students to conduct research in the fields of neuroscience on maternal behavior and microbiology on a bacterium known as Sodalis Glossinidius,” Motley said. “The experiences I gained through this program were invaluable. I developed a passion for science and research, as well as a deeper understanding for the value of education.”
“In my application essay to Johns Hopkins, I talked about my research experiences, which were made possible through the MSI program,” Motley added.
All photos courtesy of University of Richmond Communications.