By Nella Quasnitschka
By Nella Quasnitschka
By Brian A. Boecherer
April 7th was a cold Saturday; the early morning mist hung shoulder-high as I made my rounds, unlocking classroom doors and checking to see if our door signs were still in place. This was the first year we were hosting the Connecticut Science Olympiad (CTSO) and we wanted it to go off without a hitch. I remembered the first planning meetings that started in the summer. Yes, an event like this takes time and many dedicated volunteers and staff. In total, we were hosting 1,200 high school students, coaches, and volunteer staff from UConn, other universities, and industry. This was the biggest event that OECP has ever hosted.
McHugh Hall (née Laurel Hall) was the center of activity, and between 7:30 and 8:00 it was a beehive of action as teams signed in and talked excitedly about the day to come. Despite the early hour, these young scientists created their own energy — we were all eager for the games to begin. By 8:30 the nearly 1,000 students had dispersed to the seven buildings which composed our academic battlegrounds. Students from 42 different teams were to compete by performing in 23 different activities, labs, and tests. The day was long, but what does an Olympian expect? While luck favors the prepared, battles are won in the will and only the strong survive. Events ranged from anatomy and physiology, to being a disease detective, to developing remote sensing systems. Other events required teams to come prepared having built a helicopter, a bridge, and a car powered by a mousetrap!
The top three finishers were: in first place, the Hopkins Schools (New Haven); in second place, South Windsor High School – Team A; and in third place, Staples High School (Westport).
I got the opportunity to walk around and visit many of the events, which were designed and hosted by high school instructors, UConn professors, and industry experts. These were great spaces to watch the excitement and see students engaging with professionals. In just a few years these students will be professionals — young scientists who we hope engage with the next generation of students.
While other departments and offices have hosted the Connecticut Science Olympiad in the past, the Office of Early College Programs is very proud to make CTSO a permanent part of our office, further developing the rich academic outreach which has become part of the State culture — UConn ECE, Pre-College Summer, and CTSO.
By Melanie Ochoa
The Office of Early College Programs offers several programs which target high school students and help them transition into college. If you are looking for a summer academic program, we have summer in Storrs for you! UConn Pre-College Summer (PCS) offers rising high school juniors and seniors the chance to study and live on a top-ranked public university campus through the choice of one of four challenging and intensive one-week sessions.
Through PCS, students have the opportunity to explore their academic interests by choosing one or more of the 30 available courses, interact with engaging professors, build confidence in being a college student, attend workshops that stress personal and academic development, meet new people, and make new friends, all while learning the culture of college, before college.
Academic experiences include Creative & Fine Arts courses, Language, Pharmacy, Pre-Med, Social Science, and STEM courses, all taught by a UConn faculty. But, the exploration doesn’t stop there! Students choose from over 20 different workshops they can attend during their stay to further discover their interests. Workshop offerings include: “Composing Winning College Application Essays” by the University Writing Center; “Effective Communication & Team Building” by the UConn Police Department; “Strategies for Deeper Learning” by the UConn Academic Achievement Center; “Photosynthesis and Really Low Temperatures” by the UConn Chemistry Department; “Pharmacy Compounding Practice” by the UConn Pharmacy Department; “How Major is your Major?” by the Academic Center for Exploratory Students; UConn Info Session & Tour by UConn Admissions and the Lodewick Visitors Center; and more.
Students looking to join UConn PCS are required to submit an online application. The application will require: student and parent/guardian information, application questions, submission of unofficial transcript reflecting grades and attendance records, and a non-refundable $35 application processing fee.
Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis and will be accepted until one week prior to the start of each session. Visit pcs.uconn.edu for more information or contact the office at 860-486-0149.
By Stefanie Malinoski
By Brian A. Boecherer
It is hard to define what “cool” is, but I have been dedicated to the idea that when we develop our programming, there should always be something cool about it. There is nothing juvenile or naïve about this desire; I think it is really what we should be doing, and this is especially true in the context of our professional development. It is about leaving a spark that lingers past the moment. I love our workshops and really think they offer that spark. They are a wonderful time to come together as a community of academics, exchange ideas, and learn some- thing cool. This year our Faculty Coordinators outdid themselves! We hosted approximately 250 hours of professional development on four UConn campuses, one museum, one town hall, and one extension center. There are too many wonderful moments to include in one magazine, but I wanted to offer you an overview of some of our greatest hits. They will inspire and intrigue you; they are cool—because they are fresh ideas which stimulate contemplation well after we leave the workshop.
I hope you enjoy this magazine and that it sends you into the summer with a smile of satisfaction. You worked hard this year, and your students are better off for it. We thank you, and we look forward to seeing you in the fall. On behalf of our hardworking team in Storrs, have a happy and healthy summer!
Kaitlin Lindhardt, scientist at Brown University, explained her work with CRISPR/Cas9, the process of cutting and inserting DNA sequences which can control for vector-borne diseases.
This year’s guest speaker was Dr. Jessica Rouge, a professor in UConn’s Chemistry Department. As a biochemist she educated our faculty on her research which is at the cutting edge of science —working with nanoparticles and exploring the concept of engineering viruses to enter and reprogram the cell, thereby eliminating cancer.
Prof. Wensu Li discussed her research paper, which focused on pollution and its effect on the economy. Prof. Stephen Ross unpacked the mysteries of our State’s economic problems in the context of debt and earning psychology.
UConn ECE bought the book, Regarde les lumières mon amour, by Annie Ernaux, for ECE French instructors. UConn ECE Instructors attended the session having read the book and then participated in a graduate seminar group discussion of the material.
HUMAN RIGHTS & AMERICAN STUDIES
Profs. Glenn Mitoma, Brendan Kane, and Laurie Wolfley led a training on how to teach polarizing topics in the humanities and social sciences while maintaining professional discourse in the classroom.
Dr. Jean-Pascal Daloz, Research Professor at the University of Strasbourg, was invited to speak to ECE Political Science Faculty on “Political Representation” — fashion, politics, and how clothes represent political interests across the world.
ECE instructors were treated to the beautiful voice of opera singer Melinda Fields as she sang, “Gretchen am Sprinnrade,” by famous Franz Schubert, while Glenn Stanley led a course on musical interpretation.
ECE faculty attended their first Sociology workshop, which focused on teaching first—generation students and transnationalism in India and Mexico.
By Todd Blodgett
Registration is under way for the 2018-2019 academic year. We look forward to welcoming in a new class of ECE students and continuing to work with our current ones! This past year we had more than 12,500 students across 205 partner schools register to take at least one ECE course. During the registration process, students will have the opportunity to select, apply and enroll in their courses for the upcoming year. Many schools have expanded their course offerings and students should meet with their Site Representative or school counselor to see which course(s) fit their academic plan. Planning ahead is a critical aspect of looking towards your academic future and will make your registration process much simpler and smoother. Stay tuned to our social media pages for registration tips and deadlines that can assist you with completing the registration process.
With 12,047 students already applied we are anticipating another successful year of ECE course offerings!
Registration Dates and Deadlines
• April 30, 2018: Registration Opens
• June 1, 2018: Application Deadline
• June 29, 2018: Enrollment Deadline
• August 15, 2018: Add/Drop Period Opens*
• September 14, 2018: Add/Drop Application Deadline*
• September 28, 2018: Add/Drop Enrollment Deadline*
* Additional $25 processing fee for either adding or dropping a course during the add/drop period.
Billing and Payment Dates
• November 8, 2018: Third Party Billing Roster Submissions
• November 22, 2018: Fall and Full Year course fees due*
• January 8, 2019: Spring course fees due*
* Additional $50 late fee charged if entire course fees are not paid by the posted deadline.
By Jack Greenwood Jr.