Sciences on display: High schoolers get a taste of college experience

Alumna Sarah (Sprouse) Zenczak reunited with her former Heidelberg biology professor and advisor, Dr. Pam Faber, on Thursday, and she brought a sizable flock with her.

Sarah, who graduated in 2015, teaches biology and biomedical science in the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program at Brunswick High School, which is affiliated and supported by the Medina County Career Center.

Sarah’s husband, Andrew Zenczak ’14, along with colleague Mike Sponseller, team teach the program. They were seeking an opportunity for their PLTW students to learn more about biomed careers and studies. The career center was fully on board with support and collaboration for the Heidelberg field trip.

"I thought it would be a great opportunity if we explored the science facilities and if possible, give the students an opportunity to engage in genetic, chemistry, environmental science and biology activities," Sarah said. "These students are interested in pursuing a biomedical science education career. I instantly thought of Heidelberg as a way to expand their knowledge about these types of careers."

Pam and her ’Berg science colleagues and students more than answered the call, providing the high schoolers – most of whom are honors-track students at their high school – with fun and enlightening sessions about the sciences at Heidelberg and what it’s like to study science on a college campus.

On Thursday, Heidelberg hosted about 30 of Sarah’s students for a series of rotating science experiences in Gillmor Hall.

The day kicked off with a greeting from President Rob Huntington, a campus tour and a presentation, “Heidelberg 101,” by Admission Visit Coordinator Victoria Bunevich. Following the introduction to campus and Heidelberg’s science programs, the students returned to Gillmor Hall for the science portion of their visit.

There, they divided into two groups and alternated between presentations in the Body Donor (Cadaver) Lab and the Longaker Animal Lab. Next, they gathered at the National Center for Water Quality Research, where they participated in a presentation titled “Watersheds, Phosphorus & Algal Blooms, Oh My!” Their final sessions focused on Genetics and Pipette Art and a demonstration by the Chemistry Club titled “How Much Dew Would Do You In?”

The students, accompanied by current ’Berg students, finished their day with lunch in Hoernemann Refectory before departing for Brunswick.

Collaboration led to the success of the day. In addition to Pam, faculty members Dr. Nate Beres, Jakob Boehler, with assistance from NCWQR lab tech Taylor Fulton, Dr. Justin Pruneski, Dr. Aaron Roerdink and Dr. Brandon Van Ness conducted sessions. The Chemistry faculty was assisted by students Averi Hunt, Hannah Huthmaker, Jeanna Fullom, Mac Metz and Alyssa Derr. The Biology faculty was assisted by Kylie Rice and Kirsten Kracht with the genetics session. Many thanks also to the students in Pam’s BIO 403 Cadaver Prosection Lab class and members of the Chemistry Club for providing a great experience for the Brunswick students.


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