After years of working as a physician, Paul Rosen said to his father one day, "I guess I could have been a paleontologist" to which his father responded, "Well, no one ever said you couldn't."
"He was right, of course," said Paul. "But it just never occurred to me that I could become a geologist or paleontologist."
This memory appropriately reflects what Paul and his wife, Harriet, both first-generation college graduates, have in mind for teens today. The Rosens-longtime Museum volunteers-wanted high school students to have the opportunity to discover their full potential, so they provided seed money for a program called the Teen Science Scholars.
The program is open to students in grades 10 through 12 who can demonstrate through essay and interview their determination to be successful and committed to science. The Rosens are especially interested in recruiting underrepresented, inner-city teens, who have the potential to be first-generation college students and an interest in pursuing science-related goals but whose access to resources may be limited or nonexistent.
The students participate in fieldwork and conduct actual research that they present at a science symposium. Field expenses are covered for the students, and they receive financial compensation for the hours they spend on research and lab work.
Since the early '90s, Paul and Harriet have committed hundreds of hours to the Museum as volunteers. Harriet, a retired health care administrator, currently volunteers in Bailey Archives, and Paul, also retired, has long volunteered for paleontology.
"We wanted something in terms of giving back," said Harriet. "We are both really interested in science education. Not enough people know about science today. Science is critical to our society, and people need to know more to become knowledgeable and informed contributing citizens."
Click here to learn more about the Teen Science Scholars program.