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Scholarships Grow for Science Academy Participants

Funding will allow more local students to participate

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The Paula Shea Children’s Endowment continues to expand its relationship with Bridgewater State University by providing increased funding to allow more students to attend the university’s weeklong science academies.

Six students from the Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District were able to attend the winter session of the program thanks to the funding, while a total of 12 will receive the assistance to attend the Summer Science Academy this July.

The scholarships are evenly distributed between the two towns in the district. Previously, the fund supported six students during the summer and three during weeklong school breaks.

The academy allows students to work as scientists and is designed to inspire students about science while providing them with the foundations necessary for scientific exploration. All classes focus on the importance of science communication as students lead presentations on the last day of class.

Courses being offered in July for students entering grades 6 through 8 in the fall include: Enduring Everest: An Engineering Challenge, July 10-14; Shipwrecked: Exploring the STEM of Maritime Archaeology, July 17-21; and the Forensics Institute of Bridgewater, July 24-28.

Meanwhile, students entering grades 9-12 in the fall can select from the following: So You Want to be a What? Exploring Careers in Medical Sciences, July 10-14; and two sessions of Biotech Careers: Real-world Techniques to Answer Real-world Problems, July 17-21 and July 24-28.

The university and the Paula Shea Children’s Endowment reached a dollar-for-dollar matching agreement that allows the partnership to reach a wider number of children in the school district. The mission of the Paula Shea Children’s Endowment is to support programs designed to stimulate a love of literacy and learning for the children of Bridgewater.

The enhanced relationship allows more students to participate in the applied learning experiences in the fields of astronomy, math, engineering, conservation and sciences offered by BSU’s Center for the Advancement of STEM Education. The science academies, which cost $490 each week including all program materials, are held on campus in the Dana Mohler-Faria Science and Mathematics Center.

“We are most grateful to Mel Shea, Paula’s husband, and Mary Ellen Shea her daughter, who have honored and carried on Paula’s devotion to children by creating unique learning opportunities,” said BSU President Frederick W. Clark Jr. “This agreement allows BSU to serve more students in our host community.”

Contributions to the Paula Shea Children’s Endowment can be made at Bridgewater Savings Bank, 120 West Center St., West Bridgewater, 02379. (Story by Eva T. Gaffney, G ’01, for University News & Media)

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