Real life academic experiences for High School students during ACT summer programs
For a third consecutive summer from June 24 to July 5, ACT offered a special set of innovative educational programs and real-life experiences specially designed for 14 - 17-year-olds. More than 60 young students from Greece, the US, and other countries were engaged in academic life after High School by joining one of our college-level classes under the guidance of ACT's professors. This year the participants chose two-week courses in Biotechnology, Entrepreneurship, Girl Empowerment, and Web Development.
The Biotechnology Program familiarized students with the nature of work and activities conducted in a real biology/biochemistry research laboratory setting. The course offered hands-on training on essential and current laboratory techniques used in microbiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology. The students used equipment found in state of the art ACT research laboratories and gain hands-on experience in laboratory techniques and practices such as micro pipetting, centrifuging, spectroscopy and the basic recombinant DNA technology techniques. They also visited biotechnology research laboratories and talked to scientists in the areas of genomics, bioinformatics, molecular biology, and bioethical issues. A one day - visit took place at the Institute of Applied Biosciences at the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (INAB | CERTH) where young students visited the labs, observed applied technics of Molecular Biology and discussed with researchers the prospects and future possibilities of pursuing a career in the field. They also visited the Laboratory of Biochemistry in the Chemistry Department, at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki where they were toured to the Biotechnology and Cell Biology Labs and familiarized themselves with research equipment and novel applications.
Girl Empowerment, a program in the Social Sciences field, offered a valuable focus on the empowerment of young adolescent girls discussing the challenges, the opportunities and the concerns for young girls on topics such as social stereotyping, health and body image, personal safety, community engagement, choice of profession and career decision. In relation to this topic, the camp welcomed a guest speaker, Ms. Athina Nousiopoulou, an ACT alumna who is currently the Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator at ISOMAT S.A. Ms. Nousiopoulou referred to women and entrepreneurship as well as the opportunities and challenges for young entrepreneurs in Greece. The wide range of daily workshops provided girls with resources, skills, and competencies helping them to build self-respect, positive mindset and confidence in order to fulfill educational and personal aspirations.
Young Business Creators aimed to cultivate entrepreneurial culture through the development of students' creativity, innovation, imagination, business skill, and business thinking in order to design their own business plan. The students learned how to develop innovative ideas with the support of the ACT’s tutors and through a guided process based on Iowa University's Jacobson Youth Entrepreneurship Camp. Startup strategies, Marketing Mix Game, Customer Identification, and Customer Relationship Management were part of the agenda for the students. As an integral part of their program, students attended also a series of company visits and business shadowing activities that enhanced their understanding and helped then to witness the real-world experience. The site visits included ISOMAT SA (www.isomat.gr), Intertrans International Transports (www.intertrans.gr), Thermi Group Business Incubator (http://www.thermi-group.com/en/), I4GPro (www.i4gpro.gr), Coho coworking space (www.coho.gr).