Focus on math, science
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent November 22, 2011 3:08PM
Stan Zygmunt (right) chairman of the Valparaiso University Physics Department, talks with Valparaiso (Ind.) High School students during VU's All-Star Math and Science Day on Nov. 11, 2011. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
AT A GLANCE
For more information about the MSEED program, send inquiries to email@example.com.
Updated: December 24, 2011 8:05AM
Haley Hodges is interested in biology and perhaps becoming a pediatrician.
The Portage High School junior was one of about 100 area high school students who attended Valparaiso University’s recent All-Star Math and Science Day.
The event included classroom visits, a campus tour, conversations with VU students and experiment sessions.
“I maybe think I would be more interested in a larger school, but (VU’s) definitely on my radar,” Hodges said.
Students from Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties, plus the Chicago suburbs, took part in the program, which also included a session on the new MSEED program. VU received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for the new Mathematics and Science Education Enrollment and Development program.
The five-year project will ultimately enroll 75 students, starting next school year, and is meant to boost the quality of teachers in those subjects, resulting in a better education for students and sparking their interest in math and science careers.
Brianna Konrad, a junior at Valparaiso High School, sat in on the same session with a group of VU students that Hodges did, in a classroom in the Neils Science Center.
“I really don’t know exactly what I want to do, but I like the idea of being a teacher and being in a med program,” Konrad said, adding she hadn’t done much exploring about MSEED. “But I like everything so far.”
Heather Albertson, a sophomore from Rolling Prairie who’s majoring in biology and secondary education, was one of the VU students fielding questions from the high school students on everything from intramural sports to study abroad.
MSEED is “a really great program,” Albertson said, adding she was excited to help with the day’s events.
“I think it’s important we educate people or inspire their interest in these fields because they are always going to be around,” she said. “I’m excited about it because I see the connection between science and the community.”