Piner High School’s collaboration with Sonoma State University in STEM education continues apace, with several programs underway that join students from both institutions in mentoring and learning projects.

The high school and university kicked off this year’s partnership Sept. 30 with a showcase of student projects and research held Piner’s SPARQ center. SPARQ is the school’s showcase Science Position Astronomy Research Query center.

Lynn Stauffer, dean of SSU’s School of Science and Technology, singled out seven Piner students who are planning on doing independent inquiry projects for Level 3 credit who will be offered early admission review by SSU, which has committed to fostering a pipeline recruiting students its science and technology program.

“I want to do research in my area of biology and it seems SSU gets students started in their freshman year, which suits me just fine,” said Piner senior Esme Villacana.

SSU kinesiology students shared research, geology students explained their work in the outdoors over the last four years in Bodega Bay, Point Reyes and farther afield, in Canada and Alaska.

“Having Sonoma State bring their dean, professors and students to our campus shows their authentic desire and commitment to provide a place for our Stem students to further their own education,” said Judy Barcelon, Piner’s STEM coordinator.

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