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05-27-2009

Clarkson University Offers Challenging Summer Program for High School Students in July

The Young Scholars Program (YSP), an exceptional summer experience for talented high school students, will once again be offered by Clarkson University. The week-long program for rising juniors and seniors, held on Clarkson's campus from July 12 to July 18, is still accepting applications. You can find the application online at http://www.clarkson.edu/youngscholars .

YSP is a selective program with a distinctive approach. Consistent with Clarkson's overall mission of interdisciplinary education and spanning boundaries, students are given a problem to examine and solve from three different perspectives: engineering, business, and ethics.

This year's young scholars will design two anaerobic digestion demonstration models that utilize bio-wastes to create energy and other valuable by-products.

The first model will utilize food wastes and be marketed to municipalities and college campuses, for example, which spend millions every year for energy and the disposal of food wastes.

The second will utilize animal wastes and be marketed to livestock farmers who are challenged with disposing thousand of tons of animal manure.

Working with three Clarkson professors, students will learn the principles of anaerobic digestion, its use in producing methane and other byproducts, the environmental and social considerations involved in such a project, and the challenges involved in creating a closed-loop system that mimics nature.

Students will create conceptual designs and models that consider the amount of bio-wastes available, the energy created and how it will be used, and the utilization of the waste products at the end of the process.

Students will then present their design proposals and models to experts and potential users from the Potsdam community at the end of the week. Their family members are encouraged to attend the final presentation.

This innovative program sparks intellectual development and requires students to exercise strong communication skills and cooperative problem solving.

William Vitek, chair of the Humanities and Social Sciences Department, Alan Rossner, associate professor and director of Environmental Health Sciences, and Eric F. Thacher, research associate professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, will teach and assist students during this year's YSP. Jennifer L. French, assistant director of community affairs and academics of The Clarkson School, will host and direct the event.

Past topics and projects have included: Energy Park, Small is Beautiful New Home Design, We Can Get There From Here: Rethinking Public Transportation In A Post Carbon-World, Redesigning Portable Housing, Waterfront Recreation-Development Plan (If We Build It, Will They Come?), and Small is Bountiful: Advanced Technology Down on the Farm.

Recent participants have hailed primarily from New York, but also from Massachusetts, California, Maine, Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and other states.

The Young Scholars Program is administered by The Clarkson School, the University's early entrance program for talented high school students who have completed the eleventh grade and are ready to begin their college studies.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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