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Making Discoveries With Weston Scholars

Now in its 22nd year, the hands-on science program for high school students keeps breaking new ground

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Josh Weston in CSAM lab talking with MHS students
Josh Weston founded the Weston Science Scholars program with his late wife, Judy, 22 years ago. Over the years, more than 1,000 high school students have benefited from the annual intensive five-week summer science program at Montclair State University.

Curiosity is clearly an inter-generational quality, as demonstrated by Josh Weston and 38 Montclair High School students last week.

Weston, 93, and his late wife, Judy, founded the Weston Science Scholars in partnership with Montclair State University and the Montclair Public Schools 22 years ago and have provided generous support to make the program possible each year. The former CEO of Automatic Data Processing (ADP) showed that his enthusiasm for the summer science program remains as high as ever as he peppered this year’s cohort of high school students with questions, hopping among various buildings, laboratories and classrooms on the Montclair State campus to learn about experiments in marine biology, physics, genomic sequencing, cybersecurity, magnetic imaging and more. Talking to a group of Montclair High School students working with Biology Professor Julian Keenan, director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory at Montclair State, Josh Weston expressed his hope to the students.

Hopefully you’ll discover something your professor doesn’t know

Through the Weston Science Scholars, more than three dozen high-performing ninth, 10th and 11th graders working in six cohorts are spending five weeks using the scientific method to study everything from racism to jellyfish before presenting their results at a colloquium on July 28. In the process they’ll experience hands-on experimentation and virtual lectures from leading experts from around the world. This fall, they’ll enjoy field trips to the Liberty Science Center, Community Food Bank of New Jersey and beyond.

Program director and Montclair High School science teacher Lynn English keeps it all humming along with the help of fellow teacher Dede Portas. Like Weston, English has a passion for the program, with plans to expand to include other area high school students in coming years.

We want to spread the word about Weston Scholars. These kids are amazing. They’re learning, they’re discovering, and they’re having the time of their lives.

Lynn English, Program Director

And so, it seems, is Weston.

View photos from Summer 2021 Weston Science Scholars