Saudi Aramco RSI Successful ’16 Session

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Saudi Aramco Research Science Initiative 2016 Caps a Successful Session

42 high-achieving high school females celebrate closing ceremonies of 5-week STEM studies program

McLean, Va. – August 25, 2016 – The Research Science Initiative (RSI), sponsored in partnership with the Center for Excellence in Education (CEE), the University of Dammam, The King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (MAWHIBA), and Saudi Aramco, concluded its 5-week selective program (July 16-August 18), which is the first Saudi Arabia program for young girls that encourages science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) studies.

The Saudi Aramco RSI (SARSI), inaugurated in 2015, is an extension of the (CEE’s) RSI summer program which began in 1984, and is currently held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) each year. This year SARSI served 42 high-achieving high school girls. SARSI provides rigorous instruction, individualized mentorships, and laboratory experiences for young female scholars. It was led by Dr. Amy Sillman Co-Director, the Center for Excellence in Education and University of Dammam lecturerer, Wadha Al-Mattar.

“We are pleased to have had a second year of the RSI program for young women in Saudi Arabia,” stated Joann DiGennaro, CEE’s President. “It is exciting for CEE to plan and implement an Initiative, first-of-its kind, to plant that seed and propel Saudi female scholars to careers in STEM.”

The scholars utilized facilities at the University of Dammam Science College and Institute for Research and Medical Consultation campuses, complete with state-of-the-art lab equipment while being mentored by professors and staff members renowned for nurturing excellence in science and technology. The female scholars received instruction in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics. This was an unparalleled academic experience that provided an accelerated and challenging curriculum.

SARSI consists of one week of theoretical classroom work, followed by four weeks of research in the students’ respective areas of interest. In the final week, students demonstrate their work through written academic papers and present oral findings to their peers detailing their work and findings as well as take part in a poster showcase.

SARSI is offered cost-free to competitively-selected-top-achieving Saudi female students in the STEM fields with selections based on recommended applicants received from MAWHIBA.

CEE has partnered with more than 53 countries with collaborative agreements negotiated by Joann DiGennaro, CEE’s President. The Center was the first U.S. organization to receive high school students from: People’s Republic of China, India, and the Balkan and Baltic nations. In addition to Saudi Arabia, RSI programs are in Bulgaria, China, India, Israel, and Singapore.

About the Center for Excellence in Education
The Center for Excellence in Education was founded in 1983 by the late Admiral H.G. Rickover, Father of the Nuclear Navy and civilian uses of nuclear power, and Joann P. DiGennaro, President of the Center. The Center's mission is to nurture high school and university scholars to careers of excellence and leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and to encourage collaboration between and among leaders in the global community. CEE sponsors the Research Science Institute (RSI), the USA Biology Olympiad (USABO), and the Teacher Enrichment Program (TEP). For more information about the Center and its programs, visit CEE’s Web site,

Sources:  , Director of Strategic Communications & Partnerships, 703-448-9062 ext. 229

Related website:
Center for Excellence in Education:
Research Science Institute:

Teacher Enrichment Program:
USA Biology Olympiad:
University of Dammam:


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