Mailed 2/5/98
Contact: Diane Greenberg, or Mona S. Rowe



Upton, NY -- Instead of taking a winter holiday for five days during their term break, 15 students from nine colleges in New York learned first-hand what it is like to be a researcher at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory.

The students participated in Brookhaven's Mini-Semester Program, which offers selected underrepresented minority students an opportunity to explore careers in environmental science and technology. Glenn Williams, professor of physical sciences at Nassau Community College and senior lecturer in biology at St. Joseph's College, instructed the students in such topics as scientific research methods and environmental issues. Dr. Williams also gave them hands-on training in environmental science research projects.

For example, the students learned about health and enivronmental concerns by observing the biological effects of smoking, when simulated in a laboratory. They also took part in experiments involving the heat content of various fuels, and learned about the movement of groundwater, demonstrated by Brookhaven's staff ecologist, with the aid of a tabletop model. In addition, Brookhaven's scientific and professional staff offered talks on related topics and guided the students around some of the Laboratory's major facilities.

Since 1976, the Mini-Semester Program has been offered to students from community colleges and four-year colleges, which have been associated with BNL in academic partnerships. This year's participating colleges are: Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bronx Community College, City College of New York, LaGuardia Community College, Monroe Community College, Nassau Community College, New York City Technical College, Suffolk County Community College and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. The colleges provided supplemental funding for the program.

Renée Flack, an educational programs administrator at Brookhaven, commented, "Thousands of students have benefited from our educational programs, and we are delighted with the continued support of our academic partners."

All Mini-Semester Program participants are eligible for ten-week summer appointments at the Laboratory. Some previous students who have attended these programs have been hired for full-time positions at Brookhaven.

Also, Suffolk County Community College students who participated in the Mini-Semester Program are eligible to work at BNL in a cooperative program in which they can get college credit for doing laboratory research.