From lab to logo at science academy

Published 10:25 pm Friday, July 27, 2012

Three Suffolk rising seniors returned home Friday from a two-week science academy at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, which opened their eyes to science and marketing.

Lakeland High’s Matthew Bradshaw, Nansemond River High’s Heather Davis, and Nary Seng from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, joined 17 other high school students from across the nation for the BASF-sponsored academy, held near the company’s national headquarters.

Submitted Photo Science Academy: Students in the BASF Science Academy conduct an experiment in a pond in New Jersey, where the academy was held. Three students from Suffolk attended.

“From Molecules to Marketplace” was the theme of the academy. The students created consumer products in a science lab and then devised marketing strategies for their creations.

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Seng said that her team made and marketed hair gel, while some of the other teams’ products included body lotion and lip balm.

“We had to target an Hispanic area in California,” Seng said, saying they pinpointed their target market’s characteristics before coming up with a logo.

They also had to “look at competitors, and stuff like that,” she said, and present their marketing strategy.

“It might sound boring, but it was really fun,” she added.

BASF, which has a location here on Wilroy Road, covered students’ costs, including travel, tuition, meals and other related expenses, a press release from the Suffolk school district stated.

Seng said she learned of the academy opportunity from a teacher. She completed a form and submitted an essay, academic transcript and teacher’s recommendation, and was accepted.

“It gave me a lot of good ideas,” especially from four expert speakers in the area of science and marketing, she said.

“It was good just to see the people that work in that field, and they gave us some advice.”

The students also attended a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in an IMAX theater in New York, and were treated to dinner at an Italian restaurant.

“They (BASF) paid for our flights and everything,” Seng said.

BASF partnered with the university on the academy to give students a preview of college living, the district release stated.

Students used the university’s classrooms, labs, dining hall and dorms, and graduated

with two transferable college science credits.

The program instructors told her, “if you study science, you have a better chance of getting a good job,” Seng said.

She said she wants to study business and engineering, and would like to study in Australia.

She will return to NSA in the fall with a lot to share from the academy with classmates and teachers, she said.

“It was a really good program.”