Building dovecotes, writing poetry, and collecting photographs helped build bridges to scientific understanding for high school students engaged in the 2015 Upward Bound summer program at Suffolk University.
“I wanted the experience to be exciting for the students – not a collection of rote science courses,” said Professor Patricia Hogan, who emphasized creative thinking in her four science courses. “It’s hard to get through the basic science if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Hogan focused on several areas of exploration during the eight-week sessions, as follows:
- Urban Biodiversity examined everything about pigeons with students entering 10th grade.
- Biomimicry and Design looked at how designers and engineers use models from nature in their inventions with rising 11th graders.
- Sustainable Community Design investigated environmentally friendly projects such as green roof design and urban farming initiatives with entering 12th graders.
- Art and Survival, an elective, explored how artists interpret environmental issues, with students expressing their thoughts and feelings through poetry, sculpture, and artwork.
The Upward Bound summer session culminated in a celebratory ceremony at Suffolk’s Modern Theatre with students, families, and University faculty and staff. Students demonstrated their creative talents on stage under the tutelage of their theater instructor Veronica Leonard. The students’ other creative efforts, including their original photographs for the photovoice project organized by Upward Bound Director Amanda Bernasconi, were exhibited in the theater’s gallery/lobby.
“The scholars of the Upward Bound program voluntarily opt to spend their summer with the program, enhancing their learning and better preparing for college-going,” said Bernasconi. The showcase and the work displayed here are a real tribute to the hard work and passion these students have for their education and their future. The summer program, while a mandatory part of an Upward Bound Program, is truly a great complement to the academic efforts and cultural pursuits the students put forth year round.”
The University’s federally supported Upward Bound program serves 65 high school students yearly with the goal easing their path to higher education. The students connect with Suffolk University throughout the year as they strive to be the first in their families to attend college.
Photo above: Ashley Galloway shows her poem about the environment.
Aminata Sheriff, Rachel Ihegie, Mason Osorio, Sindy Dorvil created a dovecote as part of their study of pigeons.