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Xavier

Utopian Academy Scholar Spends Saturdays Studying At Morehouse College

  While his peers spend Saturdays sleeping late, overloading on video games and playing outside with friends, seventh grader Xavier Foster is hard at work. He takes Saturday classes at Morehouse College as a student in the iSTEM program. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Xavier learns how to use science, technology, engineering and mathematics to conduct research experiments and find solutions to real world problems. At iSTEM, students in grades 6-8 study advanced content in science that hasn’t been taught yet at their local schools. “I wanted to be in iSTEM because this is something that I could do early on to get more practice in the field of science,” Xavier said. “I didn’t want to have to wait to learn this stuff.” iSTEM’s Saturday Academy is held between September and April. Students in the three-year program are mentored by industry leaders in STEM fields and attend classes taught by college professors. The goal of the program is to expose more minority students to careers in math and science. Students discuss scientific advancements, case studies, and attend a five-week summer session where they get experience in an STEM environment. Xavier’s mother Deedra Smith said the iSTEM program is helping her son to develop as a scholar. “They are not just teaching him about science; they touch on every subject,” Smith said. “It’s an amazing program. I can see the growth in him. I’m so proud of him. What he is doing there it is starting to reflect in his school work at Utopian.’’ Smith said her son is very interested in technology. Xavier took time in between homework and Saturday Academy at Morehouse to talk about his experience as a part-time “college” student. Q. Why give up your Saturdays to study at Morehouse College? A. We don’t do much on Saturday. We are just wasting brain power. This is just a healthy diet for me as a student. Q. What do you like about science and math? A. They are my favorite subjects. Science is pretty much the world around us. Everything that we do or use basically involves science from the cell phones to classroom tables. Math goes along with science. You need to have mathematical equations to solve problems in science. Q. Do you want to have a career in the science fields? A. I want to be a pulmonologist, a doctor who treats issues with the lungs. I have asthma. It would feel good to help others who have asthma. I know what it feels like because I have gone through it. Q. How did you hear about the iSTEM program at Morehouse College? A. My mother told me about it. She is the main reason that I am in this program. I have to thank my pastor because he got me into it, too. Q. Do you think other Utopian students would like the iSTEM program? A. Yes, but they have to be ready because there is a lot of work you have to do. At iSTEM classes, it is not just book work. You go in depth. You do activities like conducting experiments. Last Saturday, we tested the theory of gravity with balloons and studied their orbit. You also learn how to write scientific papers about your results in your own words. Q. What’s the best thing about being at Morehouse on a Saturday? A. The classes and the free food that they give us. Q. How does it feel to be on a college campus at your age? A. It feels exciting. I hope to be there soon. I’m getting a chance to see what the campus looks like and to meet people who work and go to school there. Q. Do you think you would like to attend Morehouse College someday? A. Yes. It’s a single-gender school. That would allow me to focus on my education. I wouldn’t have to worry about any nonsense while I am there. One of our teachers went to Morehouse. Mr. Moore, he’s like the bomb teacher. Our executive director, Mr. Miller, went to Morehouse, too.
Comments
  • This article is very important for all scholars to read, because this will give them a step in the right direction about the college life. I know this wonderful opportunity given to Xavier continue him on the right path for his education. I would love to thank the Mr. Miller for such a job well done he’s done with his scholars at UAFA. With that being said I would also like to thank the staff at UAFA and Morehouse College.

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