The New Jersey Scholars Program 20201
June 27 – July 30
We are living in a time of rapid re-categorization of “the human being.” Neuroscientists continue to push our understanding of the brain into territories affecting our beliefs about the “mind,” “soul” and “will”; biologists claim animals show empathy, culture, and emotional lives that have more in common with ours than we ever imagined; social activists claim gender, race, and biology are identities to be selected, rather than inherited; technological entrepreneurs are actively pursuing initiatives to integrate the human brain with machines and make machines able to learn, self-organize, and invent; medical researchers hope to clone our organs and transplant them into our bodies, or splice out disease-causing DNA in utero, prolonging human life, perhaps, indefinitely; NASA has plans to colonize Mars. We seem perched to transcend the traditional limits of “the human condition” upon which millenia of human cultures have been built. Or are we? And if we do, what then? What will we say to an artificial intelligence that may demand to know what makes a mind a mind, a person a person, or someone valuable? Or anything valuable? What can it mean to be human in an age when traditional markers of humanity are up for grabs? What is the best future we can imagine? How can we get there? This year, we won’t be looking to the past as a guide to answering traditional human questions. We will be looking to the future and developing answers to current questions so that it can be a bright one!
A crucial part of the magic of the New Jersey Scholars Program (NJSP) derives from the fact that the Scholars live together* for five weeks in one dormitory with each gender residing on separate floors. Together they help each other rise to the challenges posed by NJSP. The camaraderie that develops is extraordinary. With their resident housemaster and assistant housemasters, the Scholars learn to live together, learn together, and laugh together. A theme-related field trip as well as Fourth of July cookout and group trip to a community pool, a food festival that showcases the cultural diversity of the Scholars, and arts festival that highlights the tremendous talents of all class members, offer additional opportunities for growth, learning, and fun. The program ends with a graduation ceremony to which all parents and families are invited. All-in-all, the New Jersey Scholars Program offers an extraordinary experience.
*We are hopeful that we will be able to provide the residential experience this summer. However, we are confident we will provide a meaningful and enriching experience for our Scholars in the event a residential program is not feasible.
Friday, January 8 Application Deadline
Friday and Saturday,
March 26 & 27 Finalist Interviews
Sunday, June 27 Registration Day
Friday, July 30 Graduation