High school students from across the U.S. explore chemistry and careers at the BASF Science Academy

Program provides college credit to encourage continuing science education

Twenty soon-to-be high school seniors recently previewed college life and learned advanced chemistry during the BASF Science Academy, a two week summer science program sponsored by BASF Corporation at the Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) College at Florham campus in Madison, New Jersey. 

“The Science Academy aspires to develop the technology based workforce of the future by exposing students to practical business applications and potential careers in chemistry,” said Robin Rotenberg, Vice President of Corporate Communications for BASF in North America. 

"The partnership between business and academia is a successful model for helping students to understand the practical applications of what they are learning,” said Amber Charlebois, 

Associate Professor of Chemistry at Fairleigh Dickinson University. “I was excited to be a part of the experiences and progress the students made during the intensive two week program.”

The Science Academy targets students who will be high school seniors in the fall; who completed at least one year of high school chemistry; and have a demonstrated record of academic excellence and a strong interest in the sciences.

Following the curriculum theme “From Molecules to Marketplace,” students learn advanced level science from FDU professors and interact with BASF scientists and business leaders through lectures, hands-on lab experiments and field trips. In addition to basic scientific method, the students study polymerization, the chirality and analysis of chemical components, the properties of fragrances and colors, environmental science, product development, product marketing, and project management.

Working in teams, the students used BASF chemistry to formulate their own personal care products for which they developed business and marketing plans that they presented to a panel of BASF executives. 

Students graduated from the program with two transferable college science credits to encourage their continuing pursuit of science education. In addition, FDU offered graduates $5,000 scholarships if they choose to attend FDU in the fall of 2014.

As an on-campus residential program, the Science Academy gives students a preview of college living. They used the university’s classrooms, labs, dining hall, dorms and received college-level instruction. BASF covered the full cost of the program including student tuition and travel and worked with the FDU staff to develop the Science Academy course curriculum. 

“I came into this program with high expectations and every single one of them was met,” said Aisha Bosula, Science Academy participant from Flanders, New Jersey. “I am so happy with the people I have met and have worked with and who have taught me and I couldn’t have asked for a better 10 days.”

Michelle West of Geismar, Louisiana, said the Science Academy helped her decide where she wants to focus her future studies. “Getting to spend some hands on time with chemistry helped me realize how much I love it and I definitely want to do something dealing with that in the future,” West said. “I’ve always been focused on chemical engineering and I feel more firm in that now.”

Former graduates from the program – which started in 2011 – have gone on to pursue their science studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Cornell University, Rice University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Lamar University and University of Alabama among others.

Graduates of the Science Academy Class of 2013 are listed below. 

• Nisha Patel, Madison, Alabama  

• Hira Hasan, Geismar, Louisiana

• Michelle West, Geismar, Louisiana

• Shay Bue, Palmyra, Missouri

• Delecia Utley, Durham, North Carolina

• Aisha Bosula, Flanders, New Jersey

• Jason Casar, Basking Ridge, New Jersey

• Abraham Gertler, Madison, New Jersey

• Lisa Hu, Cedar Knolls, New Jersey

• Sara Ng, Morris Plains, New Jersey

• Aneesh Patankar, Mine Hill, New Jersey

• Dominick Sarappa, Rockaway, New Jersey

• Gregory Struble, Whippany, New Jersey

• Michael Wang, Boonton, New Jersey

• Elise Zhou, Denville, New Jersey

• Angela Mauri, White Plains, New York

• Paul Schaffer, Whitehouse, Ohio

• Ghitte Neethling, Fort Mill, South Carolina

• Alexandra Elias, Beaumont, Texas

• Nicoles Williams, Suffolk, Virginia

For Immediate Release

FDU Office of Public Relations

   (Metropolitan Campus Office)
Dickinson Hall, Room 3365, H-DH3-13, Teaneck, NJ 07666

Dina Schipper,
Director of Public Relations
Fax: 201-692-7019

Kenna Caprio,
Communications Writer
Fax: 201-692-7019

Helen Grill,
Senior General Clerk
Fax: 201-692-7019

FDU Office of Public Relations

   (College at Florham Office)
East Cottage, Second Floor, M-EC2-01, Madison, NJ 08450

Scott Giglio,
Assistant Director of Public Relations
Fax: 973-443-8671

Daniel Landau,
Public Relations Assistant
Fax: 973-443-8671