drawing of student in lab reading book of MCAT prepSt. Thomas of Villanova student Natasha Nakhle drew this earnest picture as part of a Science Meets Art exercise.

Youths gain virtual introduction to Faculty of Science

Budding young scientists spent a virtual week at UWindsor learning about the programs and activities offered by the Faculty of Science during the 8th annual Science Academy, July 5 to 9.

A record number of 60 top-achieving Grade 11 students from Essex County and across Ontario attended.

Dora Cavallo-Medved, biomedical sciences professor and Science Academy faculty leader, says they spent a great week engaging with peers as well as UWindsor faculty, staff, and students.

“Science Academy allows students to virtually explore our research labs, chat with our undergraduate students, participate in science challenges, and hear directly from our alumni about science and math related career paths,” says Dr. Cavallo-Medved.

“Attendees really appreciated the opportunity to catch a glimpse into their futures as a Faculty of Science student.”

The students attended departmental sessions and learned about the latest in cutting-edge research. They also competed in the Science Meets Art (SMArt) and Science Academy challenges, attended an alumni career panel, and met with current undergraduate science students.

Natasha Nakhle is heading to grade 12 at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School in the fall. She says before participating in the academy, she found it overwhelming trying to choose a post-secondary program and institution.

“Now, after having participated in the Science Academy, I am much more assured as to the direction of my future: the Science Academy allowed me to explore different aspects of the University of Windsor science departments, such as their undergraduate research programs and unique extracurricular opportunities, such as the SMArt program,” says Nakhle.

“Any questions I had about post-secondary education and career prospects were answered by the students and professors, whose enthusiasm and passion made them super approachable. I would definitely recommend it to any Grade 11 student who is thinking of pursuing sciences, as this experience has been pivotal in my decision to pursue biomedical sciences at the University of Windsor next year.”

Anne Semaan (BSc 2019), an alumna of the health and biomedical sciences stream in biology and biochemistry, is currently a medical student at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. She attended the Science Academy as a high schooler and shared her perspective with this year’s participants.

“It was great to have the opportunity to participate in the alumni career panel, especially after going through Science Academy myself,” says Semaan. “My biggest piece of advice to students is to get involved with research, volunteering, and extracurriculars that interest you because the experiences you’ll gain and the friends you’ll meet by getting involved will be some of the highlights of your undergraduate education.”

This was the second Science Academy conducted online. Every student who participated and submitted a reflection of their experience is eligible to receive a $1,000 scholarship to any program in the Faculty of Science.

Two students will be selected to attend the Ontario Nature Youth Summit in the fall, sponsored by the Friends of Ojibway Prairie.

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