School of Science Educating Tomorrow's Scientists

Veronique Lankar, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of physics, is leading an initiative to educate economically disadvantaged and underrepresented high school students interested in pursuing science at the college level.

Veronique Lankar, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of physics, is leading an initiative to educate economically disadvantaged and underrepresented high school students interested in pursuing science at the college level. The program launched this fall with students from Frank McCourt High School, Mother Cabrini High School, St. Jean Baptiste High School, a Catholic high school for women, and Cathedral High School, attending a four-week hands-on chemistry course with the College’s chemistry department. The high school students were taught the Fundamentals of Matter during four consecutive Saturdays by Daniel Carpenito, general chemistry laboratory technician for the College, and Lijun Cao, a junior business major, and Suzie Lalvay, a senior biochemistry major, also assisted in teaching the class.

The second course, Hands-on Optics was instructed by Devan Coons, a senior education major (and future physics teacher), in the optics laboratory in Hayden Hall working with mirrors, lenses and lasers. Both Lankar and Bruce Liby, Ph.D., associate professor of physics and chair of the department, supported Coons in his teaching and planning. Another class, Physics Behind the Headlines begins the week of Nov. 7, and Robert Fiore, Teressa Grabowski and Gabriel Duah, all junior education majors, will help Lankar in teaching the class and in the spring, as well.

The department of biology will also offer two dissection workshops during the spring semester allowing high school students to dissect piglets while learning about the different body systems. Students can take part in an AstroPHYSICS for Beginners course, and Lankar is also planning classes for fall 2012 including: Physics for Future Presidents and another section of AstroPHYSICS for Beginners.