Nine Rochester Prep High School students just completed a one-month capstone program at RIT.
They are part of the RIT-Rochester Prep partnership which dates back to 2013. Beginning with 9th grade, students get a chance to take part in programs and opportunities at RIT, giving them an increasingly thorough introduction to the college experience. This academic year, fall capstone offerings were cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions but this semester things changed. A one-month capstone program was created for selected Rochester Prep juniors.
Kit Mayberry, senior advisor for Student Diversity Outreach, Enrollment and Retention said, “These nine students are all interested in pursuing a science major, since the high school doesn’t currently have any labs, the administration hoped we could enrich their experience through some in-person lab work. So we designed an abbreviated experience.”
There were three hybrid capstone groups and three students per capstone. The format allowed students to have two on-campus lab sessions with two or three Zoom classes.
Mayberry says the three participating RIT faculty members, all of whom volunteered, are new to the program. Professor Lea Michel, Chemistry, College of Science (COS) focused on “A Case Study of Bacterial Contaminants in Water”, Professor Brenda Abu, Nutrition Sciences, College of Health Sciences and Technology (CHST) worked with students on “Current Research in the Field of Nutrition” and Rochester Prep students got some hands-on experience with Professor Ke Du, Mechanical Engineering, Kate Gleason College of Engineering (KGCOE) on “Ways to use a 3D printed device to study micro- and nanoparticle filling.” Each class included graduate teaching assistants and other faculty as needed.
Mayberry says depending on faculty willingness and availability, some of these students may continue their work with their faculty member next fall.
This year, however, due to the abbreviated nature of these capstones, there will be no final showcase.