Elizabeth Students Attend Science-Math Summer Program

CALDWELL — Over 40 high achieving high school students from around the state successfully completed a rigorous Science-Math Summer College program at Caldwell College. The 3-week program was open to students who had just finished their junior year of high school, will be the first generation in their families to attend college, and had at least a 3.0 grade point average. The application process was highly competitive.

Vikas Javed and Jose De Los Santos of Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy in Elizabeth both successfully completed Science Math Summer College at Caldwell College.


“This was an intensive and exciting program for high school students to study, research, experience living in a college residence hall, socialize, and learn about college life,” said Lisa DiBisceglie, Ed.D., associate dean of external partnerships. “These students now have an advantage over their peers as a result of being able to taste the various aspects of a college experience.”

At the end of the three weeks, the students presented their final research projects in a poster presentation for their family, teachers and principals. Some of the topics the students chose for their research included: the mode of action and synthesis of some pain killers and stimulants, wind energy, solar energy, geothermal energy, nuclear energy, and hydroelectricity.

Science faculty Dr. Angelina Scimone and Dr. Anthony Scimone and Math faculty Dr. Patrick Sime and Dr. Joan Burke were the professors for the course. They collaborated to give the students a unique fully integrated course.

Much of the program was run by Caldwell College administration and faculty who were the first generation in their family to attend college. Caldwell College President Dr. Nancy H. Blattner shared with the students how her parents did not go to college, yet instilled in her a strong work ethic, faith in God, and a desire for higher education. She encouraged the students, telling them that no matter what their circumstances, they should pursue their dreams and goals. After viewing their work, she said she was certain that they would succeed in their chosen fields of study when they enter college.

“When I spoke with the students and listened to their poster presentations, I was impressed with their research and creativity in presenting their work. Many delved into topics they wish to study in more depth in college. Several collaborated with other participants that they had only met during the program, but the teamwork demonstrated was evident,” she said.

The students also attended numerous “College 101” workshops focusing on: the college search, application and financial aid process, picking a major, conflict resolution, career prep, SAT preparation, time management and scholarships.

They took several day excursions, including a New Jersey Jackals baseball game where they learned about the physics and mathematical applications of sports and fireworks; Edison’s Museum; the Turtle Back Zoo and Genesis Farm.

The entire program, including room and board, trips, labs and supplies was free to students.

Funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Education College Access Challenge Grant through the NJ Commission on Higher Education and by Caldwell College.

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