Science and technology freshmen working to advance education

AKANE SIMPSON/The Gramblinite CMAST students practicing their measuring and sampling techniques in the biology lab.

AKANE SIMPSON/The Gramblinite
CMAST students practicing their measuring and sampling techniques in the biology lab.

Several students from the Center for Mathematical Achievement in Science and Technology (CMAST) participated in the Rising Sophomore Academy this summer.  

This annual program is coordinated by Corisma Akins, the head of the CMAST program. The program is held every summer from May 22 till June 10 and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The STEM subjects covered in this program are biology, chemistry and engineering technology/computer science.

The students will participate in lecture series that cover preparation of job opportunities associated with their chosen majors and other courses that can complement these disciplines, workshops that cover time management, study skills, organizational skills, quantitative reasoning, teamwork, presentation skills, academic planning and etiquette.

Finally, the students will be divided into three groups for each major subject: biology, chemistry and engineering technology/computer science and tasked to complete a research laboratory project and present to the STEM faculty. 

The biology group will recreate the Flint Michigan water crisis and study the effects of lead poisoning on tadpoles.

The chemistry group will practice essential laboratory skills by synthesizing and characterizing using florescent spectroscopy and scanning cadmium sulfide quantum dots.

The engineering technology/computer science group will create a software application I order to manage student related data needs in a school, college or university. 

A student from each of the groups commented on their overall experience in the program.

Jonas Davis, a biology major from Baton Rouge, LA had this to say, “Along with teamwork you get the experience of being in the lab and working not only with your team but [also] by yourself. ”

Another student, Arlanda Nunsett majoring in engineering technology from Shreveport, Louisiana, said this, “I got to learn computer science and coming from a engineering technology major, that was pretty fun. Now I know more disciplines than if I was to take a class in the fall I would know more than anyone else.”

Kei Washington, a major in chemistry from Shreveport, LA said this, “Now when I go in the lab and I know what I’m supposed to do and where to go to get my materials.”

The presentations will be held on Friday, June 10, at 9 a.m.