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Rural Scholars Hold a Summer Water Exploration Program

Posted Jul. 26, 2012

Kent State University at East Liverpool and Salem are committed to offering educational resources to their students and to the community. This commitment was showcased recently when the campus’s Rural Scholars Program held a Water Explorations Summer program for seventh grade area students.

The group of seventh graders met with local undergraduate mentors from Kent State University Columbiana County on their first day at Beaver Creek State Park. The students spent the majority of the day learning about water pollution and water conservation. Students also visited other local wetlands at Firestone-Yeagley Wildlife Area. “The kids were amazing, jumping feet first into everything we did (literally, in the case of the marsh), full of curiosity and thoughtful questions,” said Wendy Pfrenger, program coordinator.

On the second day, the open-minded students learned about farming at the Conkle’s farm. They observed how to tag a cow and the daily procedures to properly care for the cows. The scholars also learned about the difference between chickens meant for eating and the egg laying chickens. With their experience at the Conkle’s farm, they learned about how water worked during the farming process.

The last day of the program was designed to teach the students how the heart works. They learned how to take their own pulse and were given the opportunity to dissect a pig’s heart with Dr. Freeman at Kent State Salem. “The campus laboratory was novel to most of them, and they seemed to take a lot of pride in their ability to navigate these learning situations,” Pfrenger said.   

“Our undergraduates showed outstanding leadership, combining a commitment to our serious educational goals with a terrific sense of fun,” she said.  “We look forward to seeing this group of students grow and mature together as they progress through this program, and it will be fun to see how their aspirations take shape in response to their experiences with Rural Scholars.”

The Rural Scholars Program mission offers first generation college-bound students from rural Columbiana County and surrounding areas a college access program designed to give them and their families the knowledge, rigorous academic exposure and social support they will need in order to be successful at a world class university. Their goal is for every student in the program to complete post-secondary education with the credentials necessary to succeed in his or her career.