High School Outreach

Waksman Student Scholar Program (WSSP)

The WSSP is a year-long program for high school biology teachers and their students, covering topics in molecular biology and bioinformatics. It begins with a 3 week summer Institute, continues throughout the following academic year when more students at each high school become involved in either a class or club setting, and concludes the following spring with the Waksman Forum Poster Session. A biology teacher and one or two students apply, and if the school is accepted, they represent their high school during the summer Institute to learn the project. In September, they bring the WSSP back into their school. Application packets include the teacher and student applications are sent to the teacher upon their request. The dates of the 2018 WSSP summer Institute are 7/5/18–7/20/18. Please refer to our web site (https://wssp.rutgers.edu/) for further details about the WSSP and the requirements for participating schools.


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Since its inception in July 1993, over 300 high school science teachers and more than 10,000 high school students have worked on scientific research investigations with instruction from Waksman faculty and staff.  Over the last few years, students in the program have been purifying and analyzing plasmid clones from a cDNA library of the duckweed Landoltia punctuata.  Each student has the opportunity to analyze the DNA from a unique clone and publish their data on a DNA sequence database maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) (for example see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nucest/1233824628). To date, more that 6500 students have published their sequence information on this database.    


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Waksman Institute Summer Experience (WISE)

For students from schools that cannot support a full academic year program, we offer a fee-based two-week Institute, called WISE. WISE is based on activities that are similar to those conducted as part of the WSSP and students are able to publish their sequence data on the NCBI databases.  This is a “stand alone” experience; there is no academic year component, only the two weeks in either June 2018 (6/2018- 7/3/18) or August 2018 (7/30/18-8/10/18).  This is only for high school students who have had at least one year of high school biology and who are interested in learning more about molecular biology and bioinformatics. The online application for the 2018 WISE Programs are found on our web site: https://wssp.rutgers.edu/wise

Please visit our website or contact Sue Coletta for further information.