stem_web.jpgMIAMI — Twelve groups of rising high school seniors and incoming college freshmen put their handmade gadgets and scientific formulas to the test during Miami Dade College’s (MDC) STEM Project Exhibition at the Wolfson Campus.

The event was part of the college’s six-week Summer Bridge program, which exposes students to hands-on research in Science, Technology, Math and Engineering (STEM) and helps ready them for college.

While all of the projects wowed the panel of MDC faculty judges, four student groups, some donning white lab coats and goggles, won top recognition. “It feels amazing to put in so much hard work every week and stay so late here at Wolfson,” said Stanley Celestin, whose team clinched first place for its study of the chemical makeup and time release of pharmaceutical gel capsules.

“We faced a lot of challenges, but it feels good to achieve this,” added the senior at North Miami Beach Senior High School. Second- and third-place team projects consisted of autonomous robots built with Legos and isolation of bacteria strains. Other experiments included a small makeshift rocket powered by baking soda and vinegar, pigment extraction from plants and paper-making from recycled materials, among others.

Financed by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Army, Summer Bridge provides students with life and professionalskills, such as adhering to deadlines and goal-setting.

Nearly 60 students from throughout Miami-Dade County — including 30 who will attend MDC this fall — participated in this year’s Summer Bridge program.

In addition to completing team science projects, students are taken on field trips and are required to take a summer math or science class for college credit.  

“We expect big things from you,” said MDC’s Natural Science, Health and Wellness Chair Mark Kraus in his addressed to students. “It’s people like you who are going to replace me and your faculty mentors.” 

For other information contact Monica Minchala, director of MDC’s STEM First Year Experience, at 305-237-3182 or