Summer Bridge Program brings Woodlawn students to UAB for college crash course

High school students will be introduced to life at UAB and career options with exciting hands-on learning opportunities that reinforce academic skills.

woodlawn summerA group of 50 rising ninth- and 10th-graders from Woodlawn High School will enjoy an early college experience at the University of Alabama at Birmingham through the Summer Bridge Program from July 28-31.

The Summer Bridge Program, which introduces students to life on campus, has been organized by the UAB Office of the Provost in collaboration with the UAB School of Education and the UAB Department of Art and Art History.  

Summer Bridge is a free program designed to help students successfully transition from middle school to high school, both academically and socially. The program’s objectives are to assist students in the academically challenging high school environment; to expose students to, and engage them in, college project-based learning experiences to develop and reinforce academic skills; to provide students with an opportunity to begin building and utilizing community resources while building peer networks; and to acclimate students to a college campus and career planning as soon as they enter ninth grade. Lunch will be provided, as well as school bus transportation with pickup and drop-off on the Woodlawn campus.  

The School of Education’s Department of Human Studies will focus on sharing environmental sciences research and education with Summer Bridge students, and on improving the quality of life for individuals, families and communities through wellness education. Students will engage in hands-on learning opportunities in the exercise physiology wet lab, measure and collect data on calorie intake and energy expenditure, and learn about prevention and control of diseases. Throughout their time with faculty and in the labs, students will measure their individual activity by collecting data from pedometers with a goal of evaluating the impact of small changes in lifestyle behaviors.

Summer Bridge is a free program designed to help students successfully transition from middle school to high school, both academically and socially.

“Our faculty members are excited about sharing a portion of their workday and research with these students,” said Kristi S. Menear, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Human Studies. “These activities give students a true picture of career options available in environmental sciences. The bonus is these students will come away with health and wellness information they can immediately apply to their lives, to create a healthier lifestyle for themselves and their families.”

On Thursday, July 31, student participants will visit the Department of Art and Art History at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts for a series of four hands-on studio art courses.

The courses include screen printing with Associate Professor of Graphic Design Doug Barrett, which will cover the fundamentals of silkscreen from screen preparation to final print and how to properly use screen-printing equipment and tools. Students will have an opportunity to print and take home a poster made in class. Instructor Jared Ragland will teach students a course in camera obscura (Latin for “dark room”), including the history of and how to create a life-sized camera obscura. Professor of Painting Gary Chapman will lead students in making prayer flags. Inspired by and in collaboration with Birmingham native Carrie Bloomston’s Happy Flag Project, students’ flags will be combined with thousands of others to blanket Birmingham during the visit of the Dalai Lama in October. DAAH Chair and Associate Professor of Art Lauren Lake will guide students as they cut and sew as part of a community sewing team to create the final work “Magic Chromacity.” Visiting Artist Amanda Browder, who is leading the “Magic Chromacity” project, will Skype with the students. The work will debut in August, when the giant fabric works will adorn the AEIVA and UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center.