After selling his business a decade ago, he tried to do something about the shortage. Dr. Winslow leased space across from a cemetery in East Hanover, N.J., rustled up $4 million worth of donated equipment and recruited volunteer scientists to show teenagers the wonder of real-world experiments.
Dr. Winslow’s goal: getting them hooked on science so they can land lucrative jobs and companies won’t have to leave New Jersey to find skilled workers.
Certainly, there is a need for science education in the Garden State, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor.
“If you want to keep industry in New Jersey, you have to have the manpower,” Dr. Winslow says. “We want to provide the next generation of scientists.”
The growing nonprofit he co-founded, Students 2 Science, brings more than 2,000 teenagers yearly to tackle a series of projects with chemists, engineers and other professionals in a high-end lab.
It has instruments far more complex than the Bunsen burners of yore, including a liquid chromatograph with a mass spectrometer that can analyze fluids and is worth about a half-million dollars. Experiments include testing drinks, such as Monster Energy and 5-hour Energy, to see which has the most caffeine. (Answer: coffee.)
Scientists and support come from a range of firms including Daiichi Sankyo Inc., Merck & Co. Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.,
Most students come from poor cities like Newark, where school officials hope to create a second Students 2 Science lab downtown next fall.
Leaders of the nonprofit and Newark schools have raised $1 million and want to raise another $7 million over five years to do so.
According to surveys by Students 2 Science after visits to its lab last year, 42% of middle-schoolers said they were more likely to consider a science career, and 81% of high-school students showed deeper knowledge of job options in pharmaceuticals and chemistry.
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