Catholic Senior Attends the Summer Science Institute at Auburn

Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School rising senior Ann Faulkner attended the Summer Science Institute (S.S.I) at Auburn University this June. 

The Summer Science Institute sponsored by the College of Math and Science at Auburn University is designed for rising 11th and 12th grade students with high aptitude and interest in the fields of math and science. Students invited to participate in the program were partnered with experienced Auburn University Math and Science research faculty to explore more advanced topics than typically studied in high school. 

Montgomery Catholic lead math teacher, Dr. Joe Profio suggested that Faulkner look into Auburn’s Summer Science Institute. “Miss Faulkner is a motivated learner with high aspirations. The Auburn Summer Science Institute provides her with an overview of science fields beyond what she will see in high school, and it allows her to explore new concepts with talented peers who share her enthusiasm for science. Ann is considering a career in STEM-related subjects and now has a broader perspective to inform her college and career decisions,” said Dr. Profio. 

Faulkner was one of only sixteen students chosen to attend the week long program. “ I had such a great time there learning about science from professors who were so eager to teach us. It was nice to meet people who are just as interested in science and math as I am. It was really great to spend time around people who are so smart and enjoy learning so much. It was a nice change from a typical classroom setting.” With sessions daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., the days were packed with activities. 

Faulkner and her peers spent their time in Auburn doing various things such as hunting for snakes and spiders, learning about quantum mechanics and relativity, and bioluminescence, replicating the chemical reaction that make fireflies light up, producing esters that smell like bananas, extracting DNA from our cheek cells and putting it into a necklace, exploring discrete mathematics, seeing their plasma generator, learning about computational chemistry, culturing bacteria from belly buttons, and watching liquid nitrogen and thermite demonstrations.

Catholic Senior Attends the Summer Science Institute at Auburn 1Faulkner described her experience with the program, “The professors and counselors did a terrific job of getting conversations started and getting us more involved in our activities. They all made tremendous efforts to get to know us and to help us get to know each other. We were divided into teams at the beginning of the week and throughout our time in Auburn we competed to earn points for our teams by doing things like solving math problems, having photo competitions and scavenger hunts. The schedule was super busy, and it was a tiring week but an incredible experience. All in all, I had an incredible time and wish the week had lasted longer. It was so nice to spend a week with such great people learning about such cool things.” 

Faulkner has attended Montgomery Catholic since the seventh grade. She is the daughter of Amy and Charles White of Montgomery. 

Catholic Senior Attends the Summer Science Institute at Auburn 2
Bottom row: Isabel Blancett, Nancy Tao, Ann Faulkner, Catherine McClendon, Alene Nelson

Middle row: Victor Chen, Samantha Stewart, Anna Haydon, Joshua Abreo, Luke Boyett
Top row: Aaron Hui, Connor Kusch, Blake Dexter, Chris Page, Jackson Boyett

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