One local teen is choosing to spend his summer furthering his education, although not by taking traditional classes. Akhil Chakravarti,16, is performing scientific research with the Liberty Science Center's Partners in Science program.
More specifically, Chakravarti is researching possible countermeasures to potential terrorist attacks using agents of biological warfare, working with Debra Laskin, the Roy A. Bowers Endowed Chair of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University in Piscataway.
“Conducting research in a university setting is an invaluable experience, something that I look forward to when I wake up every day," Chakravarti said. "I am excited and motivated to analyze different methods of counteracting dangers to human wellbeing. Most importantly, I just want to learn as much as possible.”
Chakravarti attends Biotechnology High School, which is located on Kozloski Road and focuses on science programs. It is part of Monmouth County's vocational school district.
The Liberty Science Center's Partners in Science program is now in its 26th year of providing these research experiences for high schoolers. immersing them in authentic scientific endeavors conducted by professional scientists. Students gain hands-on research experience and presentation skills, building science knowledge and enhancing science fair projects and college applications. Developing a network of advisors and lifelong connections also helps students define and focus their career goals.
Each month, students return to the Liberty Science Center, located in Jersey City, for workshops designed to help them with their future careers and other science projects and presentations. Over 1,000 students have participated in the program since it started in 1986, according to a press release by the Center. Former participants are now working as scientists and studying at elite colleges, graduate schools and medical schools.