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College of Science & Mathematics

Local Sophomores 'Aim High'


Dr. Jennifer Kay (middle), Bernard Parisi (back) with the Students of Junior Aim High

The College of Science and Mathematics and the College of Education, recently concluded its inaugural year of the Junior Aim High program, a program that gave 21 first generation college hopefuls a glimpse into the college experience. Thanks to a generous grant of $50,000 from AT&T: Mid Atlantic, 21 low income high school sophomores from Camden and Gloucester County High Schools, were accepted for the chance to spend three weeks on the Rowan University campus, living the life of a typical Rowan student, soaking up the rays of the Glassboro sunshine as well as making lasting memories with new friends and staff.

From the College of Education, Kara Ieva, Aim High program director and her colleague Jill Perry, in collaboration with the College of Science and Mathematics’ Eric Milou, and Jennifer Kay, developed an extensive three week program in which the students would exercise their minds in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The program entailed a concentration in computer programming and robotics. Jennifer Kay, professor in the Computer Science department, was in charge of the planning and administering the computer programing portion of the classes. “I am so excited to have been a part of this wonderful program,” she exclaimed.

Aim High Students Programming "Lego NXT-G"

The vast majority of the Junior Aim High students had never written a program or touched a robot before they arrived at Rowan. The Computer Science classes met approximately four days a week, for approximately three hours a day, and examined two types of programming languages. The first was NXT-G used for programming LEGO robots with the second being Scratch, a language used in online stories and video games. Just how did the students accomplish such feats? “They were so hard working and enthusiastic that I was able to cover a huge amount of material in the three weeks they were here. They now have experience with two different programming languages,” Kay explained, “one for robot programming and a second for programming interactive stories, games, and animations - and the results that they produced were just amazing!” Assisting Kay were five Computer Science students, as well as one graduate student from the College of Education.

College of Science and Mathematics’ Dean Ansari couldn’t be more impressed with the success of the program, “The Aim High Academy, a proud example of a collaboration between the College of Science and Mathematics and the College of Education, is a significant STEM initiative,” he stated. The Junior Aim High Program also held workshops in which students worked with Rowan staff on career and leadership development and concluded with a ceremony for the 21 graduates, in which they were encouraged to continue their experiences onto a collegiate education, and use their experience made this summer to build a sustainable future in whatever their careers may be. “It recognizes the role of Rowan University in educating underrepresented first-generation students in Southern New Jersey,” Dean Ansari reiterated, “the support of AT&T is a major endorsement of this commitment and we look forward to the expansion of this Academy."

Two Students Construct Their Robot

 


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