Preparing for the Agricultural and Life Sciences (PALS)The NC State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is pleased to announce its 2010 Preparing for the Agricultural and Life Sciences (PALS) Program. Begun in 2009 as a one-day event, the PALS summer science exploration program targets rising 7th and 8th grade students residing in eastern North Carolina; as well as rising 9th grade students entering the Bertie Early College School. The students must be from limited resource families whose parent(s)/guardian(s) did not complete college/university.
About the PALS ProgramBy now, it is not a secret that the United States lags behind other developed nations in educating scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians (STEM disciplines). Roughly 24% of entering college freshmen are first-generation (parents/guardian did not graduate from college) and limited resource, with a very small percentage of those majoring in STEM disciplines. Overwhelming evidence also suggests that the time to excite youth about STEM is early in their education pathway. The purpose of PALS is to increase middle school youth's knowledge of, and interest in, agricultural and life sciences. This will be achieved through experiential, inquiry based learning in which youth will conduct laboratory and field experiments under the guidance of CALS faculty and students. These experiments will be performed in wide range of disciplines including horticultural science, food science, biology, microbiology, plant biology, and other exciting subject areas within CALS.
Students will also participate in team-building and recreational activities, as well as field trips to places such as the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh and the Museum of Life Science in Durham (30 minutes from Raleigh). These museums offer extraordinary indoor, outdoor, and virtual media experiences where youth can have amusement park type fun while sharpening their science knowledge and skills. Finally, through interactive workshops youth learn about the: 1) academic majors and career opportunities within the food, agriculture and life science disciplines; 2) what they need to do NOW and on into high school in order to be competitive for admission to NCSU; as well as 3) financial aid and scholarship availability and requirements.
PALS Information and Application
Use the menu links on the left for more details about PALS and access to the application form and instructions.