NEUROSCIENCE SUMMER AT ROCK U (CALLING THE “AVERAGE” JOE OR JANE)

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A MIND IS A WONDERFUL THING TO STUDY

(Editor’s note – this is your two week warning if you want to meet the extended, March 23 submission deadline.  You’d better start today.)

Rockefeller University wants you.  They really do.  Particularly if you are a public high school student (parents, mentors, teachers, advisors, take note), score average or below in quantitative disciplines, and “hate” science.  STEM?  No thanks, you might say.

You must also want a job (actually a career) with long term security, pleasant working conditions, opportunities for advancement, fun-filled vacations, and high pay.  Is that you?

Rock U’s SUMMER NEUROSCIENCE PROGRAM 2018  (https://www.rockefeller.edu/outreach/snp/) is searching for ambitious students who are willing to work hard for their future wealth, education, and comfort. And unlike many other deep learning opportunities, you don’t have to be a valedictorian, on the honor roll, or studying calculus to participate.  They intend to make stars – you don’t have to be one to get accepted.  The program may be right for you.

The scientists at Rock U seem to think that everyone should get a chance at a technology- or knowledge-based career.  That even if you don’t excel at the reading comprehension, multiple choice skills stressed in the public school curriculum, you may at the same time have the capacity to excel in hands-on learning.  That if you are interested, motivated, disciplined and well-taught, most students can learn to design, implement, record, and analyze information in a laboratory setting.

What a revolutionary idea.  It’s so simple that the public education bureaucrats are slow to figure it out.

Whether you are a “C” student or an “A” student, this will involve hard work, commitment, and patience. But for the non-techie student, this is a backdoor gateway into a rewarding field of study.  These opportunities are too few, but needed.

The Rock U folks have figured it all out.  The transportation, the meals, the linkage to a working mentor in the field – everything is there.  Your commitment to hard work, and to your own future, is the only missing link.

As we observed at the Winter Olympics, where little Norway slammed us in the medal count, we can’t leave technology (or bobsled racing) to the Silicon Valley/country club types.  Rock U is expanding the talent search, taking a chance on populations that usually get ignored.  The potential payoff is huge, both personally and otherwise.  For the student, new career pathways are created.  For our country, we can become more competitive in the international economic and scientific worlds.

Neuroscience is the study of the brain and nervous system. We all know people who get on our nerves, or have a lot of nerve.  We applaud the fearless – the never nervous, and pity the fearful – the bundle of nerves.  This program introduces you to the study of the brain – its functions and malfunctions, and the scientific approach to understanding what’s going on in your own head.

A kid touches a hot stove.  Her nervous system tells her brain that something bad is happening.  Her brain tells her hand – MOVE!  That is your nervous system at work.  The next kid wants milk and cookies, but the milk has been in the frig for a while.  He puts his nose near the milk and inhales.  His nervous system, via his nose, tells his brain that the milk is sour.  That’s also his nervous system at work.

APPLICATION DEADLINE IS FRIDAY, MARCH 23.  That gives you time to read the total application and to work on gathering the required content.  But don’t delay.  Link to the application website, share the content with your favorite teacher(s) and begin to prepare your submission.  No excuses.  Two hard, fun weeks this summer may set you up for a lifetime of satisfying and enlightening experiences.  Did I mention that this is not for slackers?

As you may know, the statistical odds of becoming an engineer or a Ph.D. – though long, are much better than your chances of being an NBA superstar or a Grammy-winning singer or rapper.

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