EDWARDSVILLE - Twelve Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students spent their summer sharing their excitement and enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with Illinois youth.
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The students participated in the Robert J. Noyce Scholarship Science and Math Grants. The grants are funded by the National Science Foundation and provide $2,500 summer scholarships for 200 hours of in-service training for qualified SIUE freshmen and sophomores, and local community college students who are interested in STEM careers.
They showcased their experiences during the Noyce Summer Scholars Showcase held Thursday, Sept. 28 in the SIUE’s Morris University Center.
“It was a fun experience to watch the students I taught engage in the activities and lessons I had planned for them,” said Justin Shiau, a sophomore pre-pharmacy major from Naperville. Shiau served at the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora. He said the experience solidified his desire to become an educator.
“I taught chemistry and physics to third, fourth, seventh and eighth grade students,” he explained. “I realized during my first academic year at SIUE, that I want to be a part of the growing pharmacy industry. But, I don’t want to be a practicing pharmacist, rather I’d like to become a pharmacy professor to educate future industry professionals. The Noyce program helped build my teaching skills and gave me confidence in my abilities.”
Other sites for the 2017 cohort of Noyce summer scholars included SIUE’s Odyssey Science Camps, Engineering Camp, and Digital East St. Louis, along with Edwardsville Summer Zone, The Field Museum, Treehouse Wildlife Center and Watershed Nature Center.
“You learn best when you think about how to teach something to other people,” said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Greg Budzban, PhD, as he visited with the interns during their showcase event. “When you do that, you’re actually learning deepest yourself. These students had the wonderful opportunity to engage with younger students and share their enthusiasm for STEM, while also enhancing their own learning experience.”
Through her experience, sophomore nursing major Kathleen Antos, of Crest Hill, said she strengthened her interpersonal and organizational skills, both of which will benefit her future career.
“I want to be a pediatric nurse, so working with kids all summer boosted my confidence interacting with them and teaching them about difficult topics in engaging ways,” Antos said. “I want to be an inspiration for young girls who may doubt the role of women in the sciences. I enjoyed making sure the young girls in the camps I worked with had impactful experiences, so their current drive and interest in the sciences would only get stronger.”
The Noyce summer scholars experience is coordinated through the SIUE STEM Center, in partnership with faculty from the School of Education, Health and Human Behavior and the College of Arts and Sciences.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose to shape a changing world. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of nearly 14,000.
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