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Growing STEM Education - page 13 / 17





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by Amy Patterson Neubert

Chicago Students Attend GERI Camp

Fourteen fifth- and sixth-graders from Chicago schools attended Purdue University’s summer camps for the academically, creatively and artistically gifted, thanks to Shell. During the Gifted Education Resource Institute’s (GERI) residential camp, students learn about a variety of topics including engineering, animation and forensic science. “GERI has provided fun and educational camps for 30 years,” said Rebecca Mann, GERI associate director. “And, thanks to Shell’s generosity, we were able to extend this outstanding experience to deserving students who attend Chicago public schools. We are thrilled to have Shell’s support.” The summer residential camp offers interactive classes in mathematics, science and technology, visual and performing arts, language arts, and interdisciplinary courses for children in grades 5-12. Campers, who stay in the residence halls, attend either one- or two-week sessions. Tuition for the program is $925 a week. Of the 14 Shell scholarship campers, 11 students from O.A. Thorp Scholastic Academy, a Chicago public school magnet school, attended camp for two one-week sessions in July. O.A. Thorp Scholastic Academy serves kindergarten through eighth-grade students with an emphasis on literacy, mathematics, science, and the arts. “The Purdue opportunity is rich in so many ways,” said Kathleen Bandolik, principal of O.A. Thorp Scholastic Academy. “We are so fortunate to have Thorp students involved. I know my students will return to Thorp and bring their experiences in critical thinking, problem solving, investigation and teamwork back to their classrooms. I cannot wait to see the impact this experience will have on their 2007-2008 academic year. The value of the university connection to the elementary school student is incredible in terms of student learning.” Shell is a worldwide group of oil, gas and petrochemical companies with interests in biofuels, wind and solar power, and hydrogen. Shell is active in more than 130 countries and territories and employs 108,000 people worldwide.

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    college of education magazine FALL 2007

Susan Nierstheimer book Distribution

Faculty and staff from Purdue’s College of Education distributed books to Lafayette, West Lafayette and Monticello first-graders in memory of a professor who died in 2005. This was the second year for the book distribution.

The books were purchased with the proceeds of the Susan Nierstheimer Book Fund—created after her death to provide children’s books for first-grade students participating in Reading Recovery, an early intervention program that helps first-graders who are having difficulty learning to read and write.

Each child received four books carefully selected from a range of current children’s literature. The books build upon the reading skills and strategies developed through their participation in the Reading Recovery program and first grade classroom instruction. The books they received are:

  • “Cookie’s Week” by Cindy Ward and Tomie dePaola

  • “Nate the Great and the Monster Mess” by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

  • “Henry and Mudge and the Bedtime Thumps” by Cynthia Rylant

  • “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” by Judi Barrett

The selection included a book they can read easily, two chapter books that are a bit more challenging and one book at a higher level that they can read with assistance. The books carry the inscription: “A gift for you from the Susan Nierstheimer Book Fund, providing books for children who have participated in the Reading Recovery program.”

This year books were distributed to 113 children—more than double the number of children that received books last year. Nierstheimer’s husband of 36 years, Norm, helped distribute the books.

“Susan’s wish was to put books into the hands of children,” said Susan Gunderson, an instructor in the College of Education who was both a colleague and close friend of Nierstheimer’s. “She truly believed that all children can learn to be readers. She wanted to make sure that the children who are recipients of this gift receive books that they can read and that they can share with their families.”

If You Wish

If you would like to contribute to the Susan Nierstheimer Book Fund, make checks payable to Purdue Foundation and mail to: Susan Nierstheimer Book Fund, Purdue Foundation, 403 W. Wood St., West Lafayette, Ind. 47907-2007.



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