July 12 2002

UCSD’s CHUM Program Offers a Summer of Science Exploration

Forty middle school and high school students in San Diego are spending their summer in a special Science Camp at the University of California, San Diego that exposes youngsters to the basics of scientific research in university laboratories. Sponsored by UCSD’s CHUM (Consortium of High Schools/Undergraduate and Medical Schools) outreach program, the six-week Science Camp is intended to increase students’ laboratory science skills and interest in science careers, while enhancing their critical thinking abilities and the desire to attend college.

Memorial Academy students Melissa Rivera and Hasdrubal Rivers collaborate on a scientific research question during a CHUM Science Camp session at UCSD.

The camp began in late June and runs until early August during which students attend classes all day at UCSD’s Undergraduate Biology Laboratory and other locations on campus. Under the guidance of CHUM director Park Trefts, Ph.D., science instruction is conducted in collaboration with Estralita Martin, Ph.D., and San Diego State University.

In the Science Camp, CHUM students in grades 7 through 9 learn basic physics, chemistry, biology, laboratory techniques, and how to design and conduct scientific experiments, while CHUM students in grades 10 through 12 receive advanced training in laboratory research, preparation for the SAT college entrance exam, and later must complete an individual research project. For added credit, students in grades 10 through 12 can enroll in a UCSD undergraduate biology class (which the students attend with UCSD undergraduates and other college students) to learn microbiological laboratory techniques.

In addition, the science camp also allows high-performing CHUM students to be placed in summer research internships at UCSD where they work under the guidance of actual UCSD scientists.

Participants in CHUM and its Science Camp are drawn primarily from six San Diego area Schools: San Diego High, Gompers Secondary, Helix High, Lincoln Preparatory, Keillor Middle, and Memorial Academy. Students receive a stipend upon successful completion of the camp which is partially funded this year through the federal Rewarding Youth Achievement Program.

For more information on the Science Camp and other science-related activities offered by CHUM throughout the school year for low-income students, contact Park Trefts or Glenda Peace at UCSD, (858) 822-1257; ptrefts@ucsd.edu.

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