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MATES Junior Reaches for the Stars (or COMETS)
Derek Jorgensen, of Lacey Township, a junior at the Ocean County VocationalTechnical School' s Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES) wasselected as the winner of the 'Name the Initiative' Contest.Derek' s winning acronym, COMETS, stands for Career Oriented Math, Engineering, Technologyand Science. The COMETS initiative is part of a national program developed to increase interest and focusamong students, on science and math based careers. Derek received a Dell laptop for his creative efforts.
Derek credits his eighth grade science teacher, Mrs. Kathleen Stankovich, with his interest in science. 'She always made science interesting and fun. She made me realize that this was an area I wanted to pursue', noted Derek.
It was also in eighth grade, that Derek saw a presentation about MATES that prompted his decision to apply for admissions. 'I saw that MATES offered something very different from a regular school. I would be able to focus on subjects like science and math that really interested me.'
Upon graduation, Derek plans to pursue a career in the United States Air Force. He is already beginning the application process for the Air Force Academy.
Derek says that his winning idea, 'COMETS', came to him rather easily when he started scrambling the key words, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.