Summer Science Adventure

Alek TaylorPhoto by Jean Wasp.

Alek Taylor of Healdsburg explored the fluorescent properties of a mushroom in a rare summer science research project in chemistry this year that exposed 12 high school juniors to college-level research. The Sonoma County Office of Education and SSU’s School of Science and Technology collaborated in a strategic partnership aimed at preparing more students for careers in the science and technology sectors. The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Program also included a $1,000 paid summer internship and the opportunity to enroll in SSU classes while in 12th grade. The initiative was designed to underscore the importance of a rigorous high school course of study as preparation for the demands of the global workforce and address the critical shortage of highly-skilled workers with degrees in science, mathematics, and engineering. The internships were directed by SSU faculty and included coursework, data gathering and analysis, job shadowing, field studies and observations, and visits to work sites employing science and technology professionals. The program was so successful that the School is looking for similar partnerships.