Friday, February 11, 2011

A sea of knowledge


Coastal studies: Sharari examines a specimen during a lab activity.

As part of the Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI) Youth Programs' efforts to promote learning about science, technology, engineering and math subjects to local students, the center is partnering with Coastal Studies for Girls, the country's only residential science and leadership semester school for 10th grade girls. Located on Maine's rocky coast, the program offers female students the chance to hone their science expertise working with marine scientists on field studies. They also practice leadership skills through outdoor adventures, such as kayaking, hiking and camping.

So far, CCHI has supported the participation of two students: Tamieka Banks-Tillman, a sophomore from the Engineering School at the Hyde Park Education Complex, who participated last spring, and Abeer Sharari, a sophomore from East Boston High School, who attended last fall.

"The Coastal Studies program is unique in offering hands-on science and research opportunities in a single-gender community," says Christy Egun, director of MGH Boston School Partnerships. "It offers these young women a nurturing but exciting environment in which they can learn and grow."

"Coastal Studies for Girls was a life-changing experience," says Sharari. "The education was very hands-on, and I found it very easy to learn there. I learned much more than marine science and leadership -- I learned things like how to live on my own and how to manage my time."

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