Every fall the public and independent schools are invited to send their best students to take the Joe Berg Science or Humanities examination. The top fifty students are selected in each area to enter the society and participate in one of the seminar series. For 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, or they will meet elsewhere for a special activity such as an art workshop, a museum, laboratory, zoo, or hospital tour or a 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 assist in two Museum of Science and History weekend events to maintain membership in the Society. They are given a letter describing their participation in the Society to include with their college applications. 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 have experienced elegant introductions to a variety of disciplines beyond the scope of the high schools.
Joe Berg Scholars are required to participate in at least eighteen of the twenty-four sessions in order 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.
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 have truly demonstrated a love of learning as well as considerable self-discipline to attend evening seminars through their busy senior high years. From this they have received elegant introductions to a variety of disciplines far beyond the scope of their high school curriculum.
The sophomore Entrance Exam is held every Novemeber.
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