A new UCSB program offers high school students the opportunity to attend a cutting edge science education program on campus.

Currently, 112 high school students in grades 10-12 are enrolled in the first quarter of the “School for Scientific Thought,” which kicked off Sept. 19 with five innovative courses. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the California NanoSystems Institute, the program offers an opportunity not only to high-schoolers, but also to UCSB graduate students who serve as designers and professors of the courses.

Physics professor Elisabeth Gwinn, the faculty sponsor for the program, said the format of SST actually allows UCSB researchers and young academics to learn from one another.

“The professors are graduate students and Ph.D. candidates in science or engineering,” Gwinn said. “From the point of view of graduate students, many are interested in careers in higher education, so they need to be able to communicate scientific ideas to people who aren’t experts. From the point of view of high-schoolers, it’s a really nifty opportunity to find out what’s going on in science and engineering and realize that in real life, scientists are normal people just like them.”

Classes are held Saturday mornings and will continue for a second session in Winter Quarter.