MASCEC & Cornell Univ host Gateway H.S. Students for 2nd Entrepreneurial Learning Experience

Gateway High School students recently enjoyed another successful Cornell Learning Experience as a part of its Entrepreneurship Program, a partnership endeavor with Mid-Atlantic States Career and Education Center.

Group of kids and chaperones posing at scenic outlook

“It is an awesome opportunity and the entire experience was amazing,” According to Melissa Eckstein, career counselor at Gateway High School. “We are so thankful for Mid-Atlantic’s support!”

During the trip to Cornell University, Gateway High School students, ages 15 to 17, experienced life on a major international university campus and were treated as special guests of the university. Students were able to:

  • Interact with faculty and staff from Cornell Entrepreneurial Programs, Departments and Admissions
  • Experience the development of food products with plenty of sampling
  • Interact with local entrepreneurs both large and small
  • Learn about developing technologies to combat new challenges in food safety and climate change.
  • Explore the Cornell campus and hear from admissions specialists.

High School students in front of Cornell University entrance

The itinerary for the trip this year included a special discussion by the Cornell Center for Climatology on climate changes on food production and discuss new approaches to mitigating changing climate. Other stops on the visit include Cornell Dairy and Sheep Farms, Cornell Orchards, Cornell Ice Cream Manufacturing Center and Retail Store.

Cornell's Climate Smart Farming Program slide presentation on screen I am climate smart button

A highlight of the trip was the interactions between the budding entrepreneurs and local business owners, including those from Wegmans, the successful grocery store chain. The students also had discussions with Ms. Heather Lane, owner/ operator of Purity Ice Cream in Ithaca, NY.

In addition to these experiences, students became certified in National Restaurant Association Food Handlers Course which is a national certification needed in all aspects of the food industry.

Group of High Schoolers showing certificates

One of the most exciting aspects of the trip was the opportunity presented to the students to name a newly developed apple variety. At the Cornell Orchards Store, the students were able to sample a new “un-named” apple – currently being referred to as “Apple A.” The students have been offered the chance to name this apple.

“It is important that the name be connected to something the students tasted in the apple, such as tartness, sweetness, firmness and so on,” according to Mr. Wood. “This should be an exciting hands-on project for the students to be involved in participatory research. Who knows, their name may be selected.”

Mr. Wood stated that those he spoke to who were involved in the Cornell learning experience described it as “magical.”

The two-day trip was funded by Mid-Atlantic States Career and Education Center and the Cornell Alumni Association.

Mid-Atlantic States would like to acknowledge and thank the following hosts and presenters:

  • Brian Aukema – Program Leader for Agriculture – Cornell Cooperative Extension- Broome County, NY
  • Dana Havas: M.S. Applied Economics and Management and Director of Local Fiber
  • Robert Karpman, M.D, M.B.A.: Director, Business Minor for Life Sciences Majors, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Professor Biomedical Engineering
  • Nicola ( Niko) Kochendoerfer: Doctoral Student in Animal Science, Research Projects in Dairy Sheep Production and Solar Grazing
  • Heather Lane: Owner/ Operator, Purity Ice Cream, Ithaca, NY
  • Heather Marcotte: Director of Admissions , Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Science
  • Allison M. Chatrchyan: Director Development Sociology & Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (Climatology)
  • Marie Wiggers: Senior, School of Hotel Management, Director of Front End Management Statler Hotel, Cornell University
  • Benjamin Wood: retired Associate Professor Cornell Emeritus, Senior Vice President Mid-Atlantic States Career and Education Center and your overall host.
  • Wegmans; A Giant! Family run Business
  • Statler Staff: Ms. Diana Pippen and Ms. Mary Jo Guido -Room and Meal Coordinators

Students wearing Cornell t-shirts standing on steps in the woods