Middle School Students Get College on Their Radar Through School Days Event

Local eight-grade students get ready to visit Duke Chapel as part of the annual School Days event. Photo by John Joseph/Duke Photography
Local eight-grade students get ready to visit Duke Chapel as part of the annual School Days event. Photo by John Joseph/Duke Photography

More than 270 Durham middle school students received a taste of college life this past Friday, visiting Duke residence halls, classrooms and laboratories as part of the annual School Days event.

Sponsored by the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership, the program works with local middle schools to identify bright eighth-grade students who get a sense of the sights and sounds of the campus, as well as encouragement to think about attending college.

“This may have been our best School Days ever,” said David Stein, School Days director.

For many students, Stein said, the highlight was getting to meeting with faculty members who presented a taste of their research, from "chemical reactions” to “multicultural actions." Several of the faculty members were participating in the program for the first time, he added.

“Duke senior Betty Chen recruited some of her favorite faculty as speakers, new facilities on campus like the Technology Engagement Center and the Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility enthusiastically opened their doors to students, and we had a record turnout of Duke staff and student volunteers.  Even the weather was at its October best.”

Below: Students from Rogers-Herr Middle School get instructions before taking off on a tour of Duke's Campus. Photo by John Joseph/Duke Photography