200 high school students get hands-on media, business, arts and science experience

Jan. 17, 2013 - Quinnipiac University faculty and staff hosted more than 200 high school students from throughout Connecticut as part of the Center for 21st Century Skills at Education Connection.

The students, who participated in hands-on exercises on Quinnipiac's Mount Carmel Campus, examined digital media, business, commerce, the arts and science and technology. This is the fifth year the university has partnered with the center.

"We really enjoy doing this because it's a lot of fun," said Heidi Erickson, senior associate director of admissions. "Our faculty and staff who help make this happen really enjoy being involved."

Quinnipiac faculty and staff help the students to practice what they learned in a classroom - and help them to see themselves as college students.

"We like to connect the learning done in the classroom with the world beyond," said Kerry Macfarland, a science education specialist at the Center for 21st Century Skills at Education Connection.

Ricky Geddes, a senior at Terryville High School, said he appreciated the university's technology and resources.

"This is a nice setting," he said. "I like the environment and how passionate the professors are."

On Jan. 17, Quinnipiac students spoke with the high school students via Skype from South Africa, where they are working on a film with Liam O'Brien, a professor in the School Communications.

O'Brien, who helped develop the partnership, is not the only professor who is passionate about the program.

"We hope the students realize that innovation comes when disciplines and new ideas intersect," said Lucie Howell, director of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Center for Science Teaching and Learning at Quinnipiac. 

Interacting with college students on the other side of the world also has its advantages, said Emily Wasley, digital learning specialist at the Center for 21st Century Skills at Education Connection.

"This gives our students the opportunity to see just how close they are," she said. "It reminds them that now is the time to think about what they want to do - and how they want to get there."