Windsor, N.J. - In addition to the traditional middle and
high school enrichment programs offered through Mercer County
Community College's Youth College, this summer the college
offered an intensive math and science program for 23 rising
9th graders who will head to Trenton High School this fall.
According to Program Director Wayne Murray, the four-week
pilot project was designed to help these students make a successful
bridge from middle school to high school - particularly in
the critical areas of math and science.
"This program was great," student Najaae Tucker
said. "Normally I wouldn't be doing anything special
and here, I had a chance to learn some math and science that
will prepare me when I start school in the fall. The teachers
made it fun. I got smarter this summer."
The program, which was held at Mercer's Trenton and West Windsor
campuses, provided students with the opportunity to use MCCC's
state-of-the-art labs and to learn in a college setting.
Murray notes, "We employed teachers who are knowledgeable
about both the eighth and ninth grade curriculums. They were
able to review concepts and introduce new material that will
make a difference for these students as they start high school.
It worked out really well."
According to Murray, the pre- and post-program test scores
were very satisfying. "In some cases, scores improved
by as much as 20 points," he said.
On August 10, close to 200 rising 7th through 12th graders
who participated in Youth College's SMILE/Gear Up, Urban Academic
Academy and Upward Bound programs presented their capstone
summer projects to an audience of peers and parents at the
West Windsor campus. Among the presentations was one in robotics,
where students demonstrated robot movement based on computer
programs they wrote, while another presentation in public
speaking gave two teams of students a chance to debate whether
outside vendors should be allowed to sell unhealthy food to
young people at their schools.
part of the closing ceremony was the presentation of awards
to students for academic achievement and perfect attendance.
Staff awards included recognition for outstanding teachers,
counselors, and mentors.
MCCC's Youth College programs are offered at the college's
Trenton campus and include Educational Talent Search, SMILE/Gear
Up, Upward Bound and Urban Academic Academy. More information
about these programs is available here.
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