I wanted to share my perspectives about my daughter, Clara Lengacher’s experience at the ILC Experimental Physics Discovery at UPenn this summer.
To start, I feel that this program is creative, forward thinking and exactly the type of program that we should be seeing more of in the educational community. Partnerships with institutions of higher learning are vital to the articulation, matriculation and improved success of our students. The combination of social skills, networking, and the high quality of the educational experiences should be accessible to all and I feel this program opens doors for our young people to make connections, experience social interaction in a way that they might not be accustomed to, and pursue a specific subject of interest to them.
From my experience at the kick off dinner and discussions with various alumni of UPenn and major donors to ILC, I was encouraged about the state of education in our community and heartened to know that it extends across the country.
I Skyped with my daughter every week and was updated on the amazing things they were doing in class, the people she met within the program and during visits to the other schools besides UPenn, and about the new folks she met in her Physics program, not just from all over the United States, but the World.
My only constructive criticism of the entire process is that perhaps the interactions between the ILC staff and the students, in public forums, could be administered in a more respectful fashion. I witnessed an interaction at the dinner at La Folie that I felt was somewhat degrading and embarrassing to the individual. I realize the importance of developing their social skills in a short amount of time, but wonder if this could be done in a more mindful and respectful manner. I don’t think there is any benefit in dressing down a young person if front of their peers or adults that they may or may not know.
Thank you for your vision, time and energy in thinking outside the box, creating valuable opportunities for the students of this district, and for changing the lives of those individuals fortunate enough to participate.