Haverford College
Cascade Mentoring Program
Program overview


This program has been put on hold indefinitely . Teachers, visit http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/local/suminst/ for other opportunities.

Haverford College's Summer Cascade Mentoring Program in the sciences provides opportunities for Philadelphia high school teachers and high school students to participate in an active research lab during the summer months. Through a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, this program utilizes a "cascade mentoring" approach by creating either a four or a five to six member team, consisting of a Haverford College faculty member, a Haverford College student, a high school teacher (optional) and minimally two high school students. This team works together on a specific research project, learning current scientific techniques and studying cutting-edge research problems.

Each high school teacher spends six weeks in the lab, and the high school students work for four weeks. This allows the High School teacher, the Haverford student and the Haverford faculty member to work together for two weeks before the arrival of the high school students. This will make it possible for the teacher to become comfortable in the lab, and be familiar enough with techniques to instruct the high school students.

At the end of the program each high school student presented a Power Point presentation discussing the research they conducted during their four weeks on campus.

Sample Summer

The dates of the program are dictated by the Haverford Faculty, so please check the lab descriptions for date details. Students work for 4 four weeks.
The program runs Monday through Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm.

Week one June 26-30
Week two July 3-7
Week three July 10-14
Week four July 17-21
Week five July 24-28
Week six July 31-August 4

Each teacher receives a $5000 stipend for the six-week involvement in this program. High school students receive $1000 for the four-week commitment. We have also budgeted for additional costs such as:

In addition, Haverford faculty will work with teachers to plan cooperative activities for the school year, and will serve as consultants on curricular ideas in the sciences during the academic year.


Laboratory Research Opportunities for Summer 2006

Frances Blase, Chemistry
Dr. Blase would like to host two high school students. Students selected in this lab will begin work on Monday, July 3 and their last day will be Friday, July 28, 2006. They will work closely with Haverford undergraduates to develop new laboratory experiments for the 200 level introductory organic chemistry laboratory courses. The experiments will involve performing organic reactions, isolating the products from these reactions, and then characterizing their structure using a variety of instruments and techniques. Some experiments will focus on more standard organic reactions, some will examine chiral catalysts, and finally some will involve the synthesis of compounds that are useful medicinal agents or similarly related to known pharmaceutical agents.

John Dougherty, Computer Science
Dr. Dougherty would like to host one high school teacher and two high school students. The teacher selected to work in this lab will begin on Wednesday, July 5. Selected students will begin work on Monday July 10. The last day in the lab for both the teacher and the students will be Friday, August 4, 2006. The plans are to investigate tools that support effective and early understanding of computing concepts for both secondary and undergraduate students. Here is a partial list of projects:
• Alice worlds for computing concepts: Alice is a tool used to construct virtual worlds, and has been used to some degree in computing education; this project looks to develop sample virtual world to clearly demonstrate such concepts as iteration, recursion, lists processing, searching and sorting using interactive visual media (for an overview of Alice, please see www.alice.org, or www.cs.haverford.edu/alice).
•Media Computation: JES is a tool out of Georgia Tech built on top of Jython that provides a set of methods for processing images and audio. It is hoped that this tool complements and extends Alice (http://coweb.cc.gatech.edu/csl/83 has some overview).

Robert Fairman, Biology
Dr. Fairman would like to host one high school teacher and one high school student. The teacher selected to work in this lab will begin on Monday, June 26. The student selected for this lab will being on Monday, July 3, 2006. The research in Dr. Fairman's laboratory focuses on understanding protein structure and how we can take what we learn about protein structure to engineer new biomaterials at the nanoscale. Current efforts in the laboratory are on designing "nanowires". A teacher/student pair would work on the design and synthesis of peptides (protein fragments) as models of nanoscale biomaterials and on the characterization of their properties using state-of-the-art biophysical instrumentation.

Steven Lindell, Computer Science
Dr. Lindell would like to host one high school teacher and two high school students. The teacher selected to work in this lab will begin on Monday, June 26. The students selected for this lab will being on Wednesday, July 5, 2006. He plans to use collaborative methods to facilitate problem solving, using computer techniques to facilitate that interaction, and assistive technology for persons with disabilities. The goal would be to study the use of technology to facilitate collaborative problem solving sessions that are used in Computer Science, Physics and Mathematics. Most often a problem is assigned to the class, who work together in small groups (assisted by the instructor) and then present their solutions. The lack of a shared space to write, the inability to save work from one session to the next, and the difficulty of displaying the solution for the whole class to see, are all problems that could be assisted by computers. In addition, instructors with mobility limitations find it difficult to circulate as is necessary to help assist and monitor the progress of students. The system he envisions is not revolutionary -- it uses tablet based computers to wirelessly connect with each other and a projector. Various configurations have been already been studied, and a variety of hardware and software solutions are available from various sources. The time would be split in three ways: some of it would be spent evaluating online courses that emphasize logical reasoning, some of the time would be spent configuring the special hardware, and some of it working with software that facilitates real-time interactivity. He envisions the team giving a presentation and writing a report on the results of their activity.

Terri Newirth, Chemistry
Dr. Newirth would like to host two high school students. Students selected in this lab will begin work on Monday, July 3 and their last day will be Friday, July 28, 2006. Terry Newirth's lab is synthesizing a model compound for betacyanin, the molecule that makes beets red. Students this summer would be involved in one or two steps in that synthesis.

Top of page


Power Point presentations from summer 2005:
Fran Blase, Associate Professor in Chemistry. The high school students' presentation can be seen here.
Robert Scarrow, Professor in Chemistry. The high school student's presentation can be seen here.
Dave Wonnacott, Computer Science Associate Professor: The high school student's presentation can be seen here.


Contact information: Kim Minor, Haverford College, 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA 19041-1392
Email: kminor@haverford.edu - phone 610-896-2936 - fax 610-896-4963

Last update April 2, 2007.