Thirty-two Link 8th graders participated in a day of science at Students2Science (S2S) in East Hanover, NJ yesterday. This non-profit organization provides hand-on experiments under the guidance of real scientists in a simulated but authentic lab (with great equipment that schools generally don’t have!). The experience is intended to encourage students to pursue careers in the STEM fields and “to improve student aptitude in STEM subject matter.” This is Link’s second year sending students to this program. Student and staff feedback about the experience – this year and last – has been very positive.
While a trip to S2S is special for our students, yesterday offered a bonus. The day was chosen by Bayer Corporation for a special ceremony – for the company to present a check for $100,000 to S2S to help them continue to provide science education that supplements what students receive in their schools. Dr. Philip Blake, president of Bayer, encouraged students to consider careers in STEM – telling them that that Bayer is in hiring mode! Bayer brought in additional speakers: Senator Cory Booker and former astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, both great proponents of STEM education. Both the Senator and Dr. Jemison were very inspirational, in their remarks and interactions with our Linkers. Senator Booker expressed concern that there aren’t enough students going in to the STEM fields, so there will be a shortfall of employees to fill the ever increasing number of jobs in those areas. He, like Dr. Blake, encouraged students to take this career route for the opportunities they will have. Dr. Jamieson, in relating her own story, left the students understanding that they need to believe in themselves, and they will fulfill their dreams.
After the ceremony, students accompanied by Dr. Jamison and Senator Booker, returned to the lab to complete more experiments, completing a busy but productive day of learning and inspiration.
Here are some media links recounting the day’s event: