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Summer Bridge Students Win Over Judges with Hand-Built Robots, Science Research at Miami Dade College’s STEM Project Exhibition


Recent MDC graduate and Summer Bridge peer leader Joaquin Nunez stands next to John Delgado, David Dacres, Jasmin Felix, Shasline Gedeon, Miguel Kent and MDC Faculty mentor Dr. Yanet Cusido. The group won first place for their study of the chemical makeup and time release of pharmaceutical gel capsules.

Miami, August 9, 2013 - Twelve groups of rising high school seniors and incoming college freshmen put their handmade gadgets and scientific formulas to the test at Miami Dade College’s (MDC) STEM Project Exhibition, held recently at the Wolfson Campus.

The event was part of the college’s six-week Summer Bridge program, which exposes students to hands-on research in Science, Technology, Math and Engineering (STEM) and helps ready them for college. While all of the projects wowed the panel of MDC faculty judges, four student groups, some donning white lab coats and goggles, won top recognition.

“It feels amazing to put in so much hard work every week and stay so late here at Wolfson,” said Stanley Celestin, whose team clinched first place for its study of the chemical makeup and time release of pharmaceutical gel capsules. “We faced a lot of challenges, but it feels good to achieve this,” added the senior at North Miami Beach Senior High School. Second and third place team projects consisted of autonomous robots built with Legos and isolation of bacteria strains. Other experiments included a small make-shift rocket powered by baking soda and vinegar, pigment extraction from plants, and paper-making from recycled materials, among others.

Nearly 60 students from throughout Miami-Dade County — including 30 who will attend MDC this fall — participated in this year’s Summer Bridge program. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Army, Summer Bridge provides students with life and professional skills, such as adhering to deadlines and goal-setting. In addition to completing team science projects, students are taken on field trips and are required to take a summer math or science class for college credit.   

“We expect big things from you,” said MDC’s Natural Science, Health and Wellness Chair Mark Kraus in his addressed to students. “It’s people like you who are going to replace me and your faculty mentors.”  

For more information, contact Monica Minchala, director of MDC’s STEM First Year Experience, at 305-237-3182 or

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Kai Hill, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director

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