Elizabeth Teen To Participate In Douglass Science Institute Program

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SCOTCH PLAINS – Alyssa Kennedy, an eighth grader at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison, is one of 50 students from across the state of New Jersey to have been selected to participate in the 2009 Douglass Science Institute Program Series, according to Beth A. Bors, Program Coordinator for the Douglass Project for Rutgers Women in Math, Science and Engineering at Rutgers University.

The prestigious four-year program offers pre-college women, who are interested in math, science, and engineering, the opportunity to explore scientific research in a collegiate setting and learn the skills needed to be a successful female scientist.

This opportunity will help Kennedy further her dream to pursue a career in medicine.

“I’ve always wanted to attend the College of Pharmacy at Rutgers University…since I was 8 years old and my mother told me about her experiences there when she was a student,” said Kennedy. “Going to museums with my mother where there were hands-on opportunities to learn more about the different fields of medicine also made me want to become a scientist.”

Kennedy believes that the Douglass Science Institute Program will help her delve deeper into the fields of science which interest her and build upon her studies at Wardlaw-Hartridge. She learned about the program as a fifth grader after another student, Courtney Harris of Piscataway (now a junior at the school) was selected to attend the program.

Kennedy will begin the program from July 12 to July 17 during which she will explore a variety of areas including biology, chemistry, computers, environmental and marine sciences, engineering, physics and mathematics. She will participate in hands-on laboratory activities, workshops and field trips. She will also learn about career options in math, science and engineering while talking with undergraduates, Rutgers University faculty, and women working in the corporate world.

In June 2008, Alyssa learned that she was also selected to attend LeadAmerica’s National Junior Leaders Conference, a 10-day leadership program for students with an interest in science fields such as medical science, forensic science and robotics.

At LeadAmerica, she learned about disease and infection and how to form a diagnosis. She built and programmed her own robot, explored the variables and forces of velocity, gravity and motion. She also learned how DNA is extracted, observed and recorded to solve crimes.

Alyssa is the daughter of Joseph and Maria Kennedy of Elizabeth.

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Budding Scientist—Alyssa Kennedy of Elizabeth, an eighth grader at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison, poses in the Middle School Science Laboratory after learning she was accepted to attend the Douglass Science Institute Program. Photo by Michelle H. Lepoidevin


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