Office of Public Affairs
July 6, 2001
CONTACT: Dr. Jack Narayan, 312-3152
YOUNG SCHOLARS PROGRAM PROVIDES
HANDS-ON LEARNING AT SUNY OSWEGO
OSWEGO -- Twenty-four junior high school students are exploring hands-on learning through the week-long residential Young Scholars Program at SUNY Oswego from July 8 to 14.
The program, subtitled Explorations in Science, Mathematics and Technology, hosts soon-to-be eighth-graders from inner-city schools of the Syracuse City School District as well as rural classrooms around Oswego County. It is supported in part this year by a grant from the Rosamond Gifford Foundation.
"The program provides an opportunity for a diverse group of students at the middle-school grades to explore mathematics and science in an inquiry-based teaching environment," said Dr. Jack Narayan, distinguished teaching professor of mathematics and dean of graduate studies and research at Oswego.
SUNY Oswego's Young Scholars Program began in 1994. It features hands-on activities that show the intertwining nature of math and science and has a goal of encouraging students to pursue careers in these fields.
Forty-seven of the 59 previous participants who have graduated from high school responded to a recent survey. All 47 said they were enrolled in college, Narayan said, and many of them were students from groups that are underrepresented in higher education.
This year's students will participate in five components spearheaded by SUNY Oswego professors: astronomy with Dr. Scott Roby, earth science with Dr. Steve Skubis, mathematics and physics with Dr. Dale Zych, computing with Craig Graci, project assessment with Robert Schell and a residential component led by Deborah McKenzie and Frances Samuel.
The weekday program provides classroom instruction in the morning and afternoon, followed by recreational activities. Evenings feature career awareness sessions with professionals and business people discussing their career fields. Narayan added that the opportunity for the students to interact socially on a campus setting is one important aspect of the program.
The week will wrap up July 14 with a trip to Seabreeze Amusement Park in Rochester, where students can enjoy the atmosphere while also seeing such concepts as gravitational pull and centrifugal force brought to life with the amusement park's rides.
The Gifford Foundation -- which addresses educational, scientific, social and religious needs in Central New York -- supports the 2001 program with an $11,099 grant. Other contributors include PathFinder Bank, Alcan Aluminum Corporation, Oswego County Savings Bank, Sithe Energies, State Farm Insurance, Dunkin Donuts, Auxiliary Services, SUNY Oswego and parents of the participants.
Sponsors make partial scholarships available for youngsters who can't otherwise afford the program, Narayan said.
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