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Three Sacred Heart Academy students to attend summer institute


Sacred Heart Academy students Isabel Louie, Catalina Ramirez and Shadia Suha will spend part of their summer at a world-renowned research facility, the Brookhaven National Labs STEM-Prep Summer Institute.

The Brookhaven National Labs STEM-Prep Summer Institute is a two-to-four-week enrichment program in the sciences for ninth-grade students of under-represented populations. About 24 students are selected annually to participate in this program.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s program will be conducted entirely online. The girls will experience two-week-long modules covering topics in scientific computing and data science.

Since Isabel, Catalina, and Shadia comprise three of BNL’s 24 participants, this means that 12.5 percent of the STEM-Prep Summer Institute will be members of the Sacred Heart Academy class of 2023. This ties the record for the highest percentage in program history. SHA students Tori Famularo and Alexis Fernandez attended the STEM-Prep last summer, and Che Johnson-McGregor attended the institute in 2018.

Sacred Heart is the only school on Long Island that can boast that six of its students have attended this prestigious Brookhaven National Labs STEM program over the past three years.

Isabel plans to delve even more deeply into the realm of scientific inquiry. She has been accepted to a second, month-long program for underrepresented young men and women “of exceptional promise” at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories. CHS Labs’ STARS DNA Learning Center Summer Program for Gifted Minority Youth has also been reworked into a virtual format. Isabel will take part in lectures from physicians and doctoral-level researchers, hands-on labs via Zoom with at-home kits, interactive computing and coding exercises, and virtual field trips to Stony Brook Medical School.

Courtesy Sacred Heart Academy; compiled by Nakeem Grant