Teens Get Chance to ‘SEE’ Science
In Innovative Program at UT Dallas
Saturday Morning Sleeping is Out, Classes are in for 25 Area Youngsters
January 25, 2007
On six Saturday mornings beginning later this month, a group of 25 sixth- through eighth-grade students from Dallas-area schools won’t be sleeping in, watching television or doing the things teens normally do on a weekend. Instead, the youngsters, ages 11 to 14 years, will travel to the campus of The University of Texas at Dallas to immerse themselves in science studies for three hours.
The students are part of a new, innovative program called “Project SEE,” which stands for Science in Everyday Experiences. Its goal is to expose youngsters, some from underprivileged backgrounds, to the sciences and role models in those and other fields, and to improve the participants’ competitive and test-taking skills.
Project SEE was initiated by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a public service sorority founded in 1913 that is made up predominately of college educated African American women. The North Dallas Suburban Alumnae Chapter of the sorority is sponsoring Project SEE. Jennifer Stimpson, a professionally trained chemist and local chemistry instructor, is leading the project. The university is providing facilities like laboratories and classrooms, as well as science supplies and expertise.
“We are excited about the program and look forward to provide the students with opportunities to challenge their minds,” said North Dallas Suburban Alumnae Chapter President Margaret Turner Carrigan. “We hope that the enthusiasm that we demonstrate will encourage the students to get the maximum benefit from this program, which is designed to develop effective ways to support the children’s science learning experience.”
“Among professionals, it is distressing that more youngsters aren’t interested in science – both in terms of education and as a career choice,” said UT Dallas Chemistry Professor Dr. Lynn Melton, who is coordinating the university’s involvement in the project. “Efforts like Project SEE, I believe, will help open students’ eyes and minds to the boundless opportunities science offers now and throughout their lifetimes.”
The first scheduled meeting of the group will take place Jan. 27 with an orientation session. Thereafter, the students will gather weekly on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.
The sessions will be divided into three, one-hour blocks – one for a professional guest speaker, the second for hands-on laboratory experiments and the third for various competitions, including tests. The tests will include “SAT-type questions” that are designed to familiarize the students with college entrance exams, Melton said.
The 25 student participants will be split into teams of five, with each team assigned a mentor. Throughout the program, the teams will vie among themselves for points for attendance, lab work and testing, including take home exams. Members of the winning team will receive U.S. Savings Bonds.
“By coupling science with competition, we think we can grab the students’ attention and keep it for the duration of Project SEE,” Melton said. “We think it’s going to be an exciting program.”
Students participating in the program come from school districts in Dallas, Garland, Lewisville, Plano and Richardson. The program is offered free of charge to the students.
For more information about the North Dallas Suburban Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, please visit the organization’s website at www.dstndsa.org.
About UT Dallas
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 14,500 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UT Dallas, please visit the university’s website at www.utdallas.edu.
Contact Steve McGregor, UTD, (972) 883-2293, [email protected]