News‎ > ‎

September 2012

News and notes about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at Boys' Latin ]

Students Participate in Computer Science Camp at Penn

This past June, the University of Pennsylvania welcomed three Boys' Latin students to a computer engineering summer camp. The BOOT UP! Camp was a week-long day program for students who excel in math and have an interest in computers. Sophomores Ezekiel Adens and Jason Footes and junior Wesley Glover were selected for the program through a competitive application process. 

The camp was sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Graduate School of Education

Students spent time with a variety of computer programs, creating their own games and animation, and worked with multi-media textiles. Ezekiel designed a brick breaker-style game and successfully encoded it as an Android application which was then installed on a Droid tablet and played by others. Wesley created a pong-based basketball game in which he combined some elements of the original pong demo as well as entirely new figures and coding scripts. The camp instructors were impressed by the participation of the Boys' Latin students.

Find out more about STEM internships and programs available to Boys' Latin students.

Junior Conducts Research at Monell Center

Sophomore Keanan McDaniel interned as a research assistant for Dr. Peihua Jiang in the Monell Science Apprenticeship Program this summer. Dr. Jiang, who has a PhD in neurobiology from the University Pittsburgh, studies the connections between taste and metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Keanan interviewed with Monell and was selected by Dr. Jiang to join his research team. Keanan spent the entire summer working in Dr. Jiang's lab at Monell.

The Monell Chemical Senses Center is the world’s only scientific research institute dedicated to conducting basic research on taste and smell. The mission of the Science Apprentice Program is to stimulate interest in biomedical sciences and medicine as careers, particularly for student groups typically underrepresented in science such as women and minorities. By directly exposing students to basic bench and clinical research, the program provides students with a unique and fun experience that is academically and personally enriching. The program consists of seven weeks (June 18 – August 3) of full-time, paid, structured research activity with a Monell scientist. Qualified students have a strong interest in science and research.

Find out more about STEM internships and programs available to Boys' Latin students.

Junior Participates in Dentistry Summer Mentorship Program at Penn

For four weeks this summer, junior Christian Davidson took part in the Summer Mentorship Program (SMP) at the University of Pennsylvania. Christian spent all of July in this non-residential, educating, and insightful experience within the major of his choice: dentistry. While participating in this program, he have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in School of Dental Medicine.

An annual program for students in grades 10 and 11, SMP exposes students to multiple fields of study and to the benefits of post-secondary education in a University atmosphere. Applications are generally available to students in the spring.

Find out more about STEM internships and programs available to Boys' Latin students.

Six Students Spend Summer as STEM Scholars

Six students from Boys' Latin--three juniors and three sophomores--participated in the STEM Scholars program sponsored by the Franklin Institute this summer. Juniors Dontez Banks, Brendon Colteste, and Raleigh Russell and sophomores Joseph Grant, Thomas Shepard, and Naim Williams traveled to the Franklin Institute twice a month last spring and then for a series of sessions during this summer as part of the program for high-achieving students with interests in science, technology, math, and engineering. Students visited labs throughout the city, met science professionals, and engaged in hands-on learning to deepen their science knowledge base.

As part of the program students visited a Drexel University food science lab and the Penn Genome Frontiers Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.

The STEM Scholars program through the Franklin Institute identifies highly motivated freshman high school students to participate in a four-year concentrated outreach science and engineering program to ensure their long-term pursuit of careers in the sciences. The STEM Scholars program admits 15 students each year. Students must have a minimum of a 3.0 GP and participate in an interview to be considered. Applications for the next cohort of STEM Scholars will be available in the coming months.

Find out more about STEM internships and programs available to Boys' Latin students.

Ms. DeChant Spends Summer in San Francisco, 
Teaches About Robotics and Web Design

Looking to expand her capabilities in teaching engineering and technology, Ms. DeChant served as an instructor at the Galileo Summer Quest summer camp in San Francisco. She taught robotics, web design, and an inventor's course to fifth through eighth graders. She brought back a deeper understanding of the content covered the in courses she taught.  Perhaps, more importantly, she brought back to Philadelphia a deeper understanding of how students can learn more effectively when using an innovator's approach to problem-based learning.

Sophomore to Participate in Summer AgDiscovery Camp 
at University of Maryland

Sophomore Tyler Wright spent the summer studying veterinary medicine at the University of Maryland--Eastern Shore during the month of July. Tyler participated in the AgDiscovery Camp sponsored by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

AgDiscovery is an program to help students learn about careers in animal science, veterinary medicine, agribusiness, and plant pathology. This summer program allows participants to live on a college campus and learn about agricultural science from university professors, practicing veterinarians, and professionals working for the U.S. Government. Students chosen to participate in AgDiscovery will gain experience through hands-on labs, workshops, field trips and other group and team building activities.

Tyler and his mother brought the program to the school's attention last year. Tyler has long expressed interest in veterinary medicine and has pursued opportunities like this one to gain experience in medicine and animal science. We hope to have more students apply this year!

Find out more about STEM internships and programs available to Boys' Latin students.

Ms. Dessources Attends Neuroscience Camp at Penn, 
Strengthens Partnership with Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute and the Center for Neuroscience and Society at the University of Pennsylvania are working with our teachers to create a brand new neuroscience elective for students.

Boys' Latin will be offering a neuroscience elective course starting in the second trimester of this school year. Ms. DeChant is working with partners at the Franklin Institute and Penn to develop the curriculum. The course will teach students the basics of brain science and then focus on the societal implications. Students should get ready to gain a deep understanding of how the brain and nervous system works. They should also get excited about debates and opportunities to improve their school and society.

As part of the new partnership and course development, Ms. Dessources attended a Neuroscience Boot Camp at Penn to learn more about brain science and ethics. The Center for Neuroscience and Society holds an annual Neuroscience Boot Camp in which participants from a variety of different fields are given the opportunity to experience a crash course on the human brain. Neuroscience boot camp entailed a combination of lectures, break-out groups, panel discussions and laboratory visits, in which participants gained knowledge on (1) methods of neuroscience, (2) cognitive functions of the brain (3) brain development, (4) neurological disorders and (5)ethical topics surrounding controversies on neuroscience. Specifically, high school educators who participated in the two-week camp gained the opportunity to have an in depth look at neuroscience topics, and debrief on what aspects should be included in a high school neuroscience curriculum. 

Mr. Smith Conducts Chemistry Research at Penn Over the Summer

For six weeks this summer, Mr. Smith worked with graduate students and researchers in the University of Pennsylvania Department of Chemistry to learn about how proteins fold from random to their biologically functional conformations. His research was conducted in the lab of Dr. Feng Gai. The Gai Group works in the of field of physical chemistry and studies biomolecules using spectroscopy and lasers.

Mr. Smith's research, entitled "Measuring Fluorescence of p-Cyano-Phenylalanine in the Presence of Hofmeister Ions," focused on the use of fluorescing molecules to determine 

Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) 
Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter outreach program since 1999
Funded through National Science Foundation (NSF)
For high school teachers in region
six weeks to conduct research, write paper, and give presentation

Led by Dr. Feng Gai, Department of Chemistry

Study how proteins fold from random to their biologically functional conformations.

His research,