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December 13, 2011 > STEM Awareness Day builds education in the Sciences

STEM Awareness Day builds education in the Sciences

Submitted By Gosia Asher

Hoping to spark greater interest in the sciences, especially among high school students from underrepresented populations, Ohlone College hosts the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Awareness Day at the Ohlone College Newark Campus. Each year a different high school is selected to participate in the annual event. This year 50 students from Newark Memorial High School attended the December 2 event. Students are placed into teams of twelve, and participate in a variety of hands-on activity sessions in the fields of Chemistry, Engineering, Biotechnology and Information Technology. Students receive a certificate of attendance and compete to win prizes and get to take their projects home with them.

The goal of STEM Awareness day is to inspire the students to explore Ohlone College's STEM Pathway Program. The STEM College Prep Curricular Pathway program at Ohlone College prepares both middle school and high school students for entry into one of the STEM pre-baccalaureate degree programs offered at Ohlone College. The program gives students the opportunity to take courses in high school while receiving college credits, many of which will transfer for credit at both California State University and the University of California systems.

Students generally begin the STEM prep program in their sophomore year of high school, taking science classes such as Biotechnology, Biochemistry and a class that prepares them for successful studying for college courses. The students enrolled in the STEM program receive supplemental instruction from teacher aides, take tours of industry companies, and are offered mentorship opportunities with professionals in the biotechnology field. Once students graduate from high school they are better prepared to enter a college level degree program in the sciences. They may choose to continue their studies at Ohlone College for one additional year and earn a Certificate in Biotechnology. From there they can enter the workforce, or to continue their studies earning higher-level degrees.

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