Einstein Science Reporting for Kids
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Contact: Tanya Klein
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New Jersey Institute of Technology

A STEP in the right direction

A class of 130 high school students graduated from the Science and Technology Enrichment Program (STEP) on December 7, 2013 at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). STEP was designed by NJIT in collaboration with Berger Group Holdings, a global engineering and development firm headquartered in Morristown, to encourage high school students' appreciation of science and technology with particular emphasis on participation by women and minority students.

The semester-long, non-credit courses are offered free of charge on Saturday mornings on the NJIT campus. Students can take one course per semester for a total of six courses maximum (two for each year of high school, beginning after the freshman year). In order to encourage students to attend the courses, the program emphasizes hands-on skills; neither homework nor exams are administered.

"We ban homework and exams in these vibrantly fun and lively classes," said Narain Gehani, PhD, the program's founding director and a professor in the College of Computing Sciences at NJIT. "In the end, students learn more than ever while working on interesting projects such as designing their own video games. Like real scientists, when students love what they are doing, it doesn't seem like work but rigorous and rewarding play." Gehani co-chairs STEP with Michael Baltrush, an associate professor of computer science at NJIT.

Berger Group Holdings has been supporting NJIT for many years. The Louis Berger International Scholar Award, named after the firm's founder, was established in 1997 through an endowment by the Berger family to provide financial support for students pursuing graduate education in fields consistent with the firm's worldwide activities. On November 5, 2013, the Berger Group was named 2013 Outstanding Corporate Partner at NJIT's Celebration, the university's annual black-tie fundraiser. Nicholas Masucci, Berger Group's president and chief executive officer and a member of the NJIT Board of Overseers, accepted the award.


High school students interested in learning more about STEP should visit the STEP website: http://www.cs.njit.edu/STEP.

About Berger Group Holdings, Inc.

Berger Group Holdings, Inc., a top 20 Engineering News-Record firm headquartered in Morristown, N.J., with offices in Washington, D.C., and a number of other cities within the United States and worldwide, is a multidisciplinary architecture, engineering, planning and environmental consulting firm. With more than 6,000 architects, planners, engineers, construction and program managers, economists and environmental scientists, the Berger Group has worked on hundreds of thousands of miles of highway, thousands of miles of railroad and bridges as well as numerous airfields, seaports, buildings, dams, water supply systems and other infrastructure across the United States and in more than 140 countries. By utilizing its vast global capabilities and local responsiveness, the Berger Group is dedicated to providing solutions for a better world.

About NJIT

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 127 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2014 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.