Every fall public and independent schools are invited to send their best students to take the Joe Berg Science or Humanities examination. The top 50 students in each area are welcomed to participate . For a combined two years these students will attend evening, ninety-minute programs (twelve a year) presented by college professors, MD's, PhD's, artists, actors, authors, musicians, environmentalists, and engineers at the Museum of Science and History. They occasionally meet elsewhere for a special activity such as an art workshop, a museum, laboratory, zoo, hospital tour, symphony, dance, or drama performance. Speakers are carefully selected for their expertise and ability to communicate with students. The students receive no credit for their participation, and they must attend at least 75% of the seminars and volunteer three to four hours at the Museum of Science and History to maintain membership. A ceremony is held for their graduation from the Society, and they receive a certificate. Graduates of the Joe Berg program have truly demonstrated a love of learning and significant self-discipline and experience elegant introductions to a variety of disciplines beyond the scope of high school.
The required attendance of 75% equates to eighteen of the twenty-four sessions to be eligible for the Joe Berg Seminar certificate. Additionally, all participants must fulfill two service requirements with the Jacksonville Museum of Science and History, which hosts the seminars for free.
An important feature of the program is that the students volunteer to attend for intellectual purposes only. They receive no high school credit for their involvement in the program. Joe Berg Graduates must demonstrate considerable self-discipline to attend evening seminars through their busy senior high years. This long-term commitment and time management prepares students for college in a way no high school can.
The sophomore Entrance Exam is held one Saturday in November. Nominations to test must go through the high school counselor.
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