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Friday, May 24, 2024


June 27, 2002 – Do you know the four types of mangrove trees found in the Virgin Islands? If you don't know the answer, ask a student participating in the University of the Virgin Islands Summer Science Enrichment Academies (SSEA), who last week spent an afternoon touring the mangrove lagoon on St. Thomas' East End.
Fifty high schools students and recent graduates from across the territory are spending six weeks on UVI's St. Thomas campus exploring the world of science through the summer science academies.
The students are divided into two groups, one focusing on "Threats to the Environment" and the other focusing on "Measuring the Universe." Along with attending biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, language arts and learning strategies classes, they also take weekly field trips. The first was a visit to the mangrove lagoon.
Yuniko Tonge, a graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School, hopes that the program will reinforce what she has already learned and enrich her in preparation for courses she will soon take when she becomes a biology major at Wake Forest University in the fall. Tonge's goal is to become a pediatrician.
Gerson Cruz, one of the 12 students from St. Croix, sees the program as a jump-start to a career in chemical engineering and aeronautics. "It deals with science and math, and I've learned that I need to excel in science and math to become a chemical engineer," he said.
Many of the students who have participated in the SSEA program during its 12-year history have gone on to pursue careers in medicine and the sciences.
"This is an awesome program," said Program Coordinator Dr. Rosenid Hernandez- Badia. "Besides academics, the students get to meet important people like Delegate Donna Christian Christensen, who lectured to them on community health, to meet students with similar interests, and to get firsthand exposure from the various field trips," she said.
Other field trips include: the Bovoni landfill on June 26, Frenchman's Bay Animal Hospital on June 28, the Roy L. Schneider Hospital on July 5, and the East End Clinic on July 10. For a complete schedule visit the SSEA website at http://faculty.uvi.edu/astanfo/SSEA/SSEA.htm.
A Summer Science Enrichment Academy program for junior high school students is being conducted on UVI's St. Croix campus.
The Summer Science Enrichment Academies are sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the UVI Health Careers Opportunities Program, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Historically Black College and University Undergraduate Program. For more information call Hernandez-Badia at 693-1383.
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