RU hosts Summer Bridge for week of intense science and technology exploration

Summer Bridge students will do fieldwork and take day trips to BAE Systems’ Radford Army Ammunition Plant, Areva Nuclear Power in Lynchburg, Novozymes Biologicals in Salem and Mountain Lake in Giles County.

High school-aged women from across Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic region will explore science and technology July 10-15 at the Summer Bridge Program, hosted by Radford University’s College of Science and Technology.

The 2016 Summer Bridge will welcome more than 70 aspiring women scientists for a collegiate residential experience and immersion into the science and technology research worlds. While at RU, the students will travel to area companies that are leaders in science and technology and be exposed to the range of ways today’s technology is engaged.

“The Summer Bridge faculty, donors and young scientists form a synerigistic team that makes for an exciting experience,” said CSAT Dean Orion Rogers. “The Summer Bridge curriculum is enhanced and the students will explore science and technology for the first time in the Center for the Sciences, a facility with contemporary research equipment and resources for original research with faculty mentors.”

In addition to the classroom activities, the students will do fieldwork on day trips to BAE Systems' Radford Army Ammunition Plant, Areva Nuclear Power in Lynchburg, Novozymes Biologicals in Salem and Mountain Lake in Giles County. A forensic sciences and cyber defense exercise combining cyber criminals, emergency management and crime scene protocols at the city of Radford Public Safety building is also planned. 

On July 12 at 7 p.m., the Center for the Sciences and Summer Bridge will host a demonstration of the da Vinci XI Surgical System by Dr. Brenda May of LewisGale Medical Center. LewisGale uses the system, the only one in Southwest Virginia, for general, cardiac and thoracic surgery among other surgical applications. The latest in surgical and robotics technologies, da Vinci Surgical System enables surgeons to operate through small incisions and features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system and tiny, flexible wristed instruments.

Summer Bridge students, who are rising sophomores, juniors or seniors in high school, will participate in one of four tracks:

  • Bots and Bits, during which they explore electronics, robotics, space and mathematics and physics
  • Environmental Earth Sciences, during which they study their world, from creation to preservation
  • Cyber Security and Forensic Science, a foray into to the ways computer hackers are hunted and crime scenes are analyzed
  • Genes, Molecules and Medicine, in which the myriad contemporary applications of biology and chemistry are explored.

The Summer Bridge students are led by Radford University faculty and assisted by current RU students. Among the 2016 Summer Bridge faculty are: 

  • Cliff and Donna Boyd, professors of anthropological sciences and co-Directors of the Radford University Forensic Science Institute
  • Georgia Hammond, professor of biology
  • Rhett Herman, professor of physics
  • Kimberly Lane, assistant professor of chemistry
  • Hwajung Lee, associate professor of information technology
  • Elizabeth McClellan, associate professor of geology
  • George Stephenson, lab coordinator for the Geology Department


The 2016 Summer Bridge class is fully supported with scholarships provided by the following Summer Bridge partners:

  • ATK
  • Areva Nuclear Power
  • BAE Systems
  • Drs. Cliff and Donna Boyd
  • EQT
  • Jessie Ball duPont Fund
  • Ms. Dale Parris MBA '85 and M.S. '12
  • Lynchburg Community Trust
  • Novozymes Biologicals
  • Project Discovery
  • Harry and Zoe Poole Foundation
  • Upward Bound Martinsville

Jun 28, 2016