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Local high school freshman learned to see the world in a whole new way through an optical physics investigation that was part of the University of Success’ Summer Institute at The University of Scranton.

The investigation involved the students applying refraction of light through thin lenses by building their own telescopes and microscopes. The students mounted lenses on an optics bench to find focus and used light to project an image upside down on a blank sheet of paper.

The 21 students also learned about how the eye perceives objects with a human eye model demonstration.

The two-week Summer Institute is the first step in a multi-year, pre-college program that is designed help the high school freshmen develop the skills needed to apply and successfully gain acceptance to college. The University of Success offers enrichment courses in study skills, SAT prep, public speaking and cultural activities, as well as financial aid and wellness seminars. It also provides lessons in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in a college setting.

The students from 10 area school districts will return to the University’s campus one Saturday every month throughout their four years in high school.

The University of Success, offered free of charge to participants, is funded almost entirely by corporate and foundation grants from various organizations.

Local students who completed the University of Success’ Summer Institute include:

Rachel Batista of Scott Township, who will attend Lakeland Senior High School; Maria Eduarda Do Vale of Dickson City, who will attend Mid Valley Secondary Center; Nicholas Freeswick of Olyphant, who will attend Mid Valley Secondary Center; Shak’ee Hoskins of Carbondale, who will attend Carbondale Area High School; Mauri Kurin of Olyphant, who will attend Mid Valley Secondary Center; and Tyler Wormuth of Carbondale, who will attend Carbondale Area High School.

From left, first row: Margaret Loughney, University of Success program director; Maria Vital, operations manager at the Leahy Community Health and Family Center; and Andrea Mantione, director of the Leahy Community Health and Family Center; and University of Success students Diana Delgado, Fifi Moutoni, Rachel Batista, Mauri Kurin and Wilber Lopez. Second row: Zi Xuan Weng, Marytere Quintana, Marisol Olivares and Kimberly Kovalcik. Third row: Kyleigh Brannon, Nicholas Freeswick, Maria Eduarda Do Vale and Paige Zona. Fourth row: Shak’ee Hoskins, Haripriya Ramkissoon, Nicolas Hipolito and Raphael Carvalho. Back row: Erin Shumbres, lead teacher; Nicholas Caucci, counselor; Alyssa Caucci, head counselor; University of Success students Ivan Urena, Nicholas Aljandro, Brayan Ayala Rodriguez and Dev Patel; Joshua Guardia, counselor; Brianne Lawrence, counselor; and Kelly Judge, assistant teacher.