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Students who may be at Fairfield University in the summer should be sure to keep an eye out for some new faces in Bannow from now on. Beginning in 2007, the annual Broadening Access to Science Education (BASE) Camp has been allowing a group of female high school students from Bridgeport’s public schools to attend Fairfield University for a two-week science program.

The program was started by Dr. Shelley A. Phelan, professor of Biology and Health Sciences at Fairfield University. While at Fairfield, the campers work with other University professors on various research projects related to biology, chemistry, biochemistry, neuroscience, psychology, math and engineering.

“We are thrilled to be able to expand this program, and offer it to a new group of students each year for the next five years,” Phelan said.

Phelan first began the annual summer camp at Fairfield University as a way to give young, female scientists like herself the opportunity to pursue their scientific interests. Because of a grant from the National Institutes of Health, the program will now be able to run for another five years, allowing young girls to continue to pursue various careers in science.

In addition to working on intensive research projects, the girls work one-on-one with Phelan in sessions specifically designed to help them get into college and choose a science-related career. Phelan told the Fairfield Daily that she hopes the program will allow “a significant experience that will excite and inform students about the process and promise of science.” She also views the camp as a community, which encourages its students “to pursue science and health career paths that will address public health issues,” according to the Daily.

Phelan and other individuals involved in making the camp a possibility look forward to being able to continue to allow female scientists the opportunity to pursue their passions.

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