High school mentorship a rewarding experience

Seventeen of Niagara’s brightest high school students have completed a semester of being mentored by Brock researchers.


Sonnenberg and Gordon

The Grade 12 students, who hail from seven Niagara high schools, presented work at a symposium Feb. 25 that they completed as part of the Brock Mentorship Program. Under the supervision of faculty from Applied Health Sciences and Mathematics and Science, gifted students conducted work in physics, chemistry, biology, earth sciences, computer science, psychology and applied health science.

High school teachers identified potential candidates last year. The students were linked up with Brock faculty members. For the first semester of Grade 12, participating students devoted at least two hours a day to their projects.

This is the 14th year for the program, which has been completed by more than 200 local students. It was organized by Joe Engemann, assistant professor in the Faculty of Education.

Steven Sonnenberg, 17, of A. N. Myer Secondary School in Niagara Falls was mentored by Heather Gordon, associate professor of Chemistry. At the symposium, Sonnenberg presented his project “Structural and Positional Changes of Immunoglobulin G in the Complexed and Uncomplexed System.”

“The first few weeks were really hard because you’re starting at zero. You don’t know anything about what they’re trying to teach you,” said Sonnenberg, who learned four computer languages while working with Gordon. “But once you start to know what you’re doing, it’s really rewarding.”

Other mentors were Vincenzo De Luca, Glenn Tattersall, Maureen Reedyk, Ping Liang, Stefan Brudzynski, Tom MacDonald, Huidi Wang, Ferei Razavi, Frank Fueten, Alan Castle, Kimberley Cote, Paul Zelisko, Travis Dudding, Andy Reynolds and Stephen Cheung.

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