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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Virginia Modeling, Analysis & Simulation Center (VMASC) is set to host the Hoffler Creek STEM summer internship

The Capabilities Laboratory at Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) is part of a collaboration that will host the Hoffler Creek STEM Internship for High School Students this summer.

This will be the second year in a row that Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve is hosting this paid internship for three students at Portsmouth's I.C. Norcom High School. Participants will collect and analyze data for ecological research, along with assisting the preserve with its mission to control destructive invasive species.

Patrick Ball, a project scientist at VMASC and wildlife educator, is spearheading the initiative and working with researchers and regional economic partners to drive this year's internship.

"After a challenging year for field-based learning, we think this is a really great opportunity to connect students with opportunities they might not have known existed in their own backyard," Ball said. "Ecological science and preservation are at the heart of so many STEM disciplines, and this is a chance for students to explore careers and service opportunities in that field while building connections with and between local partners. We're very fortunate for so many capable partners to help steer the interest of these talented students toward viable careers that can really impact their environment and community."

Students will interact with subject-matter experts, entrepreneurs and career professionals in related fields as they assist Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve's efforts to preserve and maintain one of the last natural spaces in Portsmouth. They will also be exposed to entrepreneurship opportunities, novel career paths and knowledge of citizen science and local ecological preservation efforts.

"This internship is a great opportunity for students to gain exposure to various careers that directly impact their community," said Theus Dixon, site coordinator for I.C Norcom High School.

Other partners in the project include the Hampton Roads Workforce Council and IncuHub.

Support for this internship opportunity reflects VMASC's commitment to expanding learning opportunities for students, fostering greater diversity and inclusion, and strengthening partnerships between VMASC stakeholders.

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