Summer programs that help educate high schoolers and launch their careers

Editor’s note: I had written earlier that our son, a student at Ghidotti High, was excited to attend a four-week “COSMOS” program (California State Summer School for Math & Science) at UC San Diego this summer. Parents are kept in the loop with a 10-page weekly newsletter (this was an excerpt from the first), along with a parents weekend.

In this program, about 200 students are chosen and assigned to academic “clusters” that interests them. There’s “playtime” (trips to the San Diego Zoo or the beach on weekends, for example), but it also exposes them to some accomplished academics — another “excellent adventure” on their path toward college.

This is just one example. All sorts of cool programs are held in the summer for college-bound students: from ones at NASA and JPL to others such as international relations at Georgetown. Here’s a longtime program for journalists at Northwestern — the five-week Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute. I was a counselor as a graduate student for this program back in ’82. I got to know the kiddos in my group, and some went on to successful careers: one is now creating documentaries like this while the other is a New York Times reporter. Exciting times for millennials! Don’t let the curmudgeons sell them short.

Our first week of COSMOS 2019, has been GR8! We settled into our dorms and meet our Cluster 8 Resident Assistants, Sammy and Brandon. In the evenings we have spent time working with them on COSMOS Olympics and have had variety of programing activities, our favorite being volleyball and Frisbee! We are super excited for COSMOS Olympics on Friday night!

“On Monday morning we began our day with two safety meetings as safety is our top priority. Then during the remainder of the week we have had lectures and discussions with our esteemed professors. Dr. Sah, who is a Professor in the Departments of Bioengineering and Orthopedic Surgery at the University of California-San Diego and a Professor at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Dr. Gaetani who is an Assistant Research
Scientist, Department of Bioengineering & Sanford Consortium Regenerative Medicine at the University of California-San Diego and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine Sapienza at the University of Rome.

“In the lab we were guided by our GR8 Cluster Assistants (CA). Shitian, who is getting a B.S with a double major in Bioengineering: Biotechnology and Mathematics: Applied Science, Veronica, who just graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Bioengineering and in the fall will begin her Masters in Bioengineering at UCSD, Swetha who is currently pursuing a Masters in Bioengineering in UCSD and Arya, who just finish his B.S. in Bioengineering: Biotechnology and in the fall will begin his Masters in Bioengineering. We
have learned how to pipette, make dilutions, perform sterile technique, make solutions, make media for cell culture, and pH the solutions we make.

“Outside of lab we attended a GR8 Discovery Lecture on Nanotechnology and a library presentation so we can do all of our research for our Ethics papers and projects. In Science Communications, with our Teacher Fellow, Mrs. Patty Fowler, we have evaluated and discussed presentations, been introduced to and begun our Ethics Project, learned how to maintain our data in laboratory notebooks, and reviewed how to present our data thoroughly and clearly.”

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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