Albright College President Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D. and Conrad Weiser Area School District Superintendent Randall A. Grove, D. Ed., announced today the expansion of the rapidly growing Science Research Institute (SRI) to the Albright College campus in Reading, Pa. SRI first launched at Conrad Weiser High School In Robesonia, Pa., in 2015, and has grown 817% over the last five years. Having become too large for its current space at Conrad Weiser (CW), this expansion to Albright will allow SRI to continue growing and will offer Berks County students and parents an additional and more-centralized location.
SRI at Albright will offer state-of-the-art scientific summer and after-school programming to middle-and high-school students, who learn to function in a high-level scientific research setting while preparing for college and graduate-level research. Summer programs will begin during summer 2020 and after-school programs will begin in fall 2020. Albright will also offer dual enrollment to 11th and 12th graders, within the context of SRI. In addition, the director of SRI at CW, Adelle Schade, will be moving to Albright as an administrator/faculty member. Her job will be to lead and run the SRI programs at Albright, while the current associate director at CW SRI, John Siefert, will continue to run the SRI program at Conrad Weiser.
“This is a fabulous opportunity for Albright,” said Fetrow. “It brings a highly recognized program to Albright, which will be important in our community. Our local school district superintendents are enthused that Albright SRI is much closer for their students, and we will be bringing high quality high school students to our campus, preparing them for the intense STEM work they will go on to do in college and in the workplace.”
Grove echoed Fetrow’s excitement. “Conrad Weiser is so incredibly proud of the growth of the SRI program over just five years. We could not be more excited for the opportunity to expand this amazing program, allowing access to so many more deserving students,” he said. “The ultimate goal in education is to fully engage students in their schooling so they become the drivers not just the passengers in the learning process – this is what SRI does. It prepares our students to take the next step into college or a career.”
Because state-of-the-art laboratories are already operational on Albright’s campus, expanding to the college does not require new facilities or new academic programs. Albright will take advantage of spaces and times that Albright’s facilities are not used. And as a bonus, a number of Albright science students are already familiar with the program, as past high school participants or current SRI interns.
What is SRI?
At its core, Science Research Institute (SRI) is a framework for integrating research-based learning in all disciplines. SRI serves as an educational philosophy rather than strictly a physical program. The foundation of this educational philosophy is involving students in their own education, providing a framework for the students to bring their own creativity and innovation to their work right from the beginning. SRI students are provided with skills-based and authentic learning experiences that improve their research skills as well as literacy, communication and entrepreneurial thinking.
SRI uses a scientific research methodology that can be applied to all disciplines. Students are encouraged to create research projects in the biomedical, genetic, environmental, agricultural, biotechnology and materials sciences as well as dance, art, music, the humanities, culinary arts and fashion. Currently, more than 80 organizations are partnering with SRI — spanning businesses, scientific industry groups, higher education, professional organizations and foundations.
For more information or to inquire about summer or after-school programming at the Albright College location, please visit Albright.edu/SRI