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Cooper Eighth Grader Accepted into Pre-College Science Program at Brown University

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THE WOODLANDS, TX – Aspiring biochemist and 8th grader at The John Cooper School, Isaac Ortega was recently accepted into a pre-college program at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Ortega will be living at Brown’s college dormitories for two weeks in July, while attending academic courses, conducting experiments, and completing research projects with top scientists and likeminded peers.

Isaac Ortega - 1st Place Biochemistry The John Cooper School
Isaac Ortega. Photo courtesy of The John Cooper School.

“I think it will be a great experience for him,” said Jamie Shick, his science teacher. “I jumped at the opportunity to write him a letter of recommendation.”

To be considered for acceptance in Brown’s “STEM for Rising 9th and 10th Graders” program, Ortega had to submit an essay, his grades, and a letter of recommendation. He already has a growing list of scientific accomplishments, scoring 1st place in the Biochemistry category in the recent SCI://TECH Science Fair. His project was entitled “Nanotechnology Versus Chemical Disinfectants in the Killing of Staphylococcus Aureus.”

“He epitomizes Cooper’s ‘curiosity to wisdom’ mentality, frequently asking questions that go beyond the scope of what he needs to know,” said Shick. “He has a passion for science and discovery, and I’m impressed by the maturity that he often expresses when it comes to science.”




Ortega recently competed in Science Bowl and jumps at any opportunity to participate in learning. He remembers the precise moment that ignited his love for science – a big book of science facts from a book fair in 4th grade.

“It had the periodic table and everything,” Ortega recalled. “I bought the book, and I would read it all the time. Even when we were supposed to be reading fiction, I’d pull out my science book. Then I wanted to buy more and more books….and I’ve wanted to keep learning about science ever since.”

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The John Cooper School is a PK-12 independent, college preparatory day school that has been serving The Woodlands and greater Houston area since 1988.

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