Science Day helps recruit high-schoolers

By By Emily Moench

By Emily Moench

More than 70 U students volunteered to help present the U’s 18th annual Science Day for more than 700 high-school students on Saturday.

“I went to Science Day as a high-school student last year and thought it was awesome, so I really wanted to help out this year,” said Heidi Payne, an undeclared freshman volunteer.

Most of the student volunteers were from Access, a U program designed to integrate women into science, mathematics and engineering careers. During their lunch break, volunteers gave mini presentations to female high-school students about their experiences in Access.

“I didn’t know about Access until I was a senior in high school, and I wanted to share it because it’s such a great opportunity,” said Jamie Eldredge, an undeclared freshman who transported students to the various workshops.

Science Day is the U’s largest student recruitment day. High-school students attend workshops and demonstrations by professors from the College of Science and the College of Mines and Earth Sciences.

“Many students don’t know that the U has a top science program,” said Irene Hacke, program coordinator for the College of Science. “Every year, Science Day improves and gets bigger and bigger.”

Science Day is some high-school students’ first experience on a university campus. Many of them said Access appeals to them because it offers the opportunity to explore science majors.

“Access helps women transition from high-school to university-level courses, and so they have a really rigorous seven weeks doing that,” said Hacke about Access’ seven-week summer program.

About 100 high-school students apply for the program, and the 21 to 24 students who are accepted receive a $3,500 stipend to help pay for tuition.

“Access was designed to elevate the status of women in science,” said Yasmeen Hussain, a freshman math major. “A lot of women have been discouraged from pursuing science careers because of their parents or culture.”

Through the program, Hussain developed close relations with her professors and classmates, she said.

“Throughout the summer, I kept wondering, ‘Why am I in school right now? It’s summer,'” Hussain said. “But looking back, I made a lot of friends, and now I have friends in class and I am a lot more personal with the teachers. I can go to them for help.”

Lorraine Evans