Learning Science by Doing Science

Weston Science Scholars Program engages high school students in pre-college scientific research

Photo: Mike Peters

Biology Professor Sandra Adams (far left) assists Weston Science Scholars with an experiment.

Now in its 16th year, the Weston Science Scholars Program offers specially selected ninth, 10th and 11th graders from area high schools the opportunity to learn science “by doing science” with Montclair State University professors.

Established in 2000 by Josh and Judy Weston, the funders of the program and benefactors and supporters of many other programs, the Weston Science Scholars Program enables high-achieving high school students to engage in substantive pre-college scientific research for a five-week period during the summer. The goal of the program is to design and implement rich science learning for all the participants.

Each year, talented and motivated students who demonstrate potential for collegiate-level study in the STEM fields are selected for the program. They are exposed to innovative techniques and strategies used in science, mathematics and technology and work under the tutelage of Montclair State faculty and staff.

According to Weston Program Director Lynn English, there are 38 students in the program this year – 25 from Montclair High School and three from Newark Collegiate Academy. “This is the first time we have had students from Newark Collegiate Academy,” she notes.

In addition to the research program, activities are scheduled throughout the year, including field trips to interesting sites in the tristate area, as well as lectures on various topics held at Montclair State, the Rutgers University Medical/Dental Schools, Liberty Science Center, Wetlands Institute and the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, to name a few.

More than 700 students have benefited from the program since its inception and many have gone on to careers in the STEM fields. Some have not, but all have appreciated the opportunity and grown from the experience gained as Weston Science Scholars.

See what this year’s students are doing at NJTVNews.