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Wesleyan Welcomes High School Biology Students

Honors students from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy study microscopy at VWC on Oct. 29

NSA at VWCNews Release | October 29, 2015

Virginia Wesleyan College hosted 28 high school students from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy (NSA) on Oct. 29. The honors biology students visited campus with NSA teacher Laura George, who participated in the NABT/BSCS Biology Teacher Academy held at VWC this past July.

During their visit, the students participated in lab activities, working closely with VWC Professor of Biology Victor Townsend, Batten Professor of Biology Phil Rock, and VWC Assistant Professor of Biology Eric Johnson. They compared three types of microscopy, studying fruit flies through the lenses of the College’s variable-pressure scanning electron microscope, a stereo microscope, and a compound microscope. The students also heard research presentations by VWC biology students Ashley Byers ’16, Emily Brooks ’16, and Tatyana Zvonareva ’16.

This is the second in a series of visits from area high school students. In September, the College welcomed biology students from King’s Fork High School in Suffolk, and in November it will host a group from Green Run High School in Virginia Beach. In addition, Associate Professor of Biology Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson will visit Henrico County High School in November to speak to 120 students as part of the school's Career Day activities.

Virginia Wesleyan’s science programs and facilities have become a showcase in recent years. Since 2010, the College’s natural sciences building, Blocker Hall, has received close to $4 million in renovations, among them the creation of several research labs; updates to Blocker Auditorium; and the addition of a scanning electron microscope—the result of a $242,502 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Other big draws for natural science students are Virginia Wesleyan’s pre-professional programs, its NSF-funded STEM Scholars Program, and the College’s proximity to the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean, which offers many opportunities for undergraduate research. The forthcoming Greer Environmental Sciences Center, scheduled to open in fall 2017, will also further enhance VWC's growing sciences programs.

For more information, contact Dr. Hilve Firek, Batten Associate Professor of Education, at 757.233.8749 or hfirek@vwu.edu.