Middle and High Schoolers Delve into Science through PUSH/SUCCESS Program

(June 9, 2008) – Seventeen middle and high-school students from Sarasota and Manatee counties will participate in a free two-week health sciences program at New College of Florida focusing on how the health of Sarasota Bay affects the health of Sarasota citizens. The program will begin with an orientation on June 8 and culminate on June 21 at 1:30 p.m. with a graduation ceremony when students present their projects in the Pritzker Marine Research Center.The Preparing Unique Students for Healthcare (PUSH) career program is for students in grades 9-11 and the Students United to Create Culturally and Educationally Successful Situations (SUCCESS) program is for students in grades 6-8. Both programs run concurrently and are aimed at underserved, disadvantaged, rural, urban and first-generation-in-college students who are interested in health-related careers, and to show them steps to take on a health-career path.
The students will participate 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 and team-building and conflict resolution. This year two new aspects will be introduced: basic computer programming and using a video microscope to study sea urchin development. Among planned field trips is a visit to the Dattoli Cancer Center.
New College of Florida biology professors Elzie McCord and Sandra Gilchrist have taught the PUSH/SUCCESS program for the past seven years. Students complete an application including an essay and a recommendation from one of their teachers for consideration in the program. PUSH/SUCCESS is supported in part by the New College of Florida, Sarasota Bay Estuary PIER Program, Publix Supermarket Charities, Inc., the Allen Wirtz and Jo Bowen Nobbe Educational Enrichment Program through the Community Foundation of Sarasota, Whole Foods Supermarket and donations from community supporters.
For additional information, please contact Aimee Chouinard at (941) 487-4152 or email publicaffairs@ncf.edu.