High school students who want to design their own video games and electronic circuits - as well as understand the chemistry of fireworks and the physics of explosions - can now study these subjects at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).
This fall, the university will launch the NJIT Science and Technology Enrichment Program (STEP), where high school students eager to learn hands-on science and technology can enroll in exciting courses taught by some of NJIT’s best professors. The program is free for students who are admitted. The non-credit courses will meet Saturday mornings, from 10 a.m. to noon, on the NJIT campus. Students can apply by visiting the website: http://cs.njit.edu/. The application deadline is June 16. For information contact Associate Professor Michael Baltrush at (973) 596-3386.
The program promises to be a bit unorthodox: students, who can take one class a semester, will not be given homework or tests.
“We ban homework and exams in these vibrantly fun and lively classes,” said Narain Gehani, PhD, the program’s founding director and chairman of the computer science department. “In the end, students will learn more than they ever have before while working on interesting projects such as designing their own video games. Like real scientists, when students love what they are doing it doesn’t seem like work but rigorous and rewarding play,” added Gehani. “I believe that’s the best way for students to begin a lifelong romance with science and technology.
”To be accepted, students must maintain a 3.0 grade-point average, submit two letters of recommendations from teachers and a 250-word essay describing their interest in science and technology. Classes run Sept. 17- Dec.10, 2005. Visit the website for full course descriptions. The program will offer classes in video-game development, electronic devices and chemistry. Gehani encourages girls and minority students -- two groups underrepresented in science and technology -- to apply.
“Compared to students in China, Japan and India, fewer American students choose careers in science and technology,” Gehani said. “That’s unfortunate. Through this program NJIT is reaching out early to young people in an effort to counter that shortage.”