Converse College makes Legacy Charter School STEM partner

Converse College and Legacy Charter School in Greenville are starting a STEM partnership to help support the science, technology, engineering and math literacy in Legacy’s Early College High School. Legacy students will make monthly visits to the Spartanburg campus for laboratory experiences, mentoring and career exploration, a Converse statement said.

The partnership extends Converse’s Science, Technology and Research Scholars, which encourages interest in scientific research careers by pairing outstanding Upstate area high school students with Converse faculty for long-term, in-depth science and technology projects.

“Converse and Legacy share a commitment to increasing STEM literacy, and recognize that early scholarly experiences help students discover aptitudes for particular disciplines,” said Neval Erturk, who heads the department of biology, chemistry and physics at Converse and will oversee the program. “Legacy students will have an immersive academic experience working hands on in Converse biology laboratories. They will be mentored by Converse faculty and interact with Converse students. The experience will provide Converse students with valuable mentoring skills and training as they prepare for their own careers after graduation.”

Legacy, located at the former Parker High School campus, is a public charter school guided by The System for Teacher and Student Advancement (.pdf). The school’s Early College High School has 275 students.

“Legacy’s vision is to see every child to and through college. Opportunities for our high school students to see themselves as college students help demystify college for them, many of whom will be first-generation college students,” Legacy science teacher Neena Kumar said. Kumar, who will oversee the program for Legacy students, said her role is shifting to “more of a facilitator, pulling students out of their textbook learning and enabling them to make coherent connections between the state standards and the real world.”

The statement said the monthly field trips to Converse will focus on topics such as nutrients in food, DNA, genetic counseling, antibiotic effects and herbal extracts, leaf pigments and natural selection. They will also introduce Legacy students to professionals in STEM careers, including a scientist, dietitian, health care administrator, veterinarian, forensic specialist, genetic counselor, immunologist, farmer and a naturalist.

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Alyssa BennettConverse College makes Legacy Charter School STEM partner