Area Middle and High School Students Get Hands on Science Education through New College PUSH/SUCCESS Program

(June 22, 2009) – New College of Florida held the Preparing Unique Students for Healthcare (PUSH) career program for students in grades 9-11 and the Students United to Create Culturally and Educationally Successful Situations (SUCCESS) program for students in grades 6-8, from  June 7 to June 19. This was the eighth year that the programs, aimed at underserved, disadvantaged, rural and urban students interested in health-related careers, were held at New College.

During the programs, students participated in activities and discussions on topics such as socially conscious health care, red tide and other harmful algal blooms, taste genetics, insect rearing, sea urchin development, scientific method, beach clean-up, basic statistics, team-building and conflict resolution, basic computer programming and using a video microscope. Students worked on projects in New College’s 10,000 square foot Pritzker Marine Biological Research Center, which houses more than 90 aquaria and features student and faculty research laboratories, as well as in Sarasota Bay.
Drs. Elzie McCord and Sandra Gilchrist, biology professors at New College of Florida, have taught the PUSH/SUCCESS program for the past eight years.
“Students worked hard on a variety of activities to learn programming, understand scientific method, and to experience use of research grade equipment.  Many asked when the program would be offered next summer. So, Dr. McCord and I think that it was a success,” said Gilchrist about this year’s program.
Students complete an application including an essay and a recommendation from one of their teachers for consideration in the program.
This year 22 students from Sarasota and Manatee counties participated in the program. On June 20 at the PUSH/SUCCESS graduation, each student made a presentation about nutrition and health and received a certificate of participation. The program was funded in part by the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program and Publix Supermarket Charities.
For more information, contact Aimee Chouinard, Media Relations Coordinator, at (941) 487-4152 or

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