TYNGSBORO -- While many kids her age spent their summer vacation at the beach or working a part-time job, Academy of Notre Dame student Alicia Chartrand had something else to occupy her time -- an introduction to an Ivy League education.

The Dracut resident was selected to take part in the Summer@Brown Pre-College Program.

Brown University's Pre-College Program is an opportunity for bright, motivated, responsible young people to experience life and learning in a university environment. The students selected have demonstrated not only exceptional intellectual ability but also possess a degree of maturity, self-motivation and a seriousness of purpose in their chosen course of study.

Each summer, Brown offers nearly 200 courses to reflect the breadth of the university's curriculum.

Alicia, a junior at the academy, selected the Bio-Medical Science program.

"I enjoyed my experience at Brown because of the amazing things I was able to do and was exposed to," she said. "Just as an example, in one of our lab assignments, I was able to hold a human heart."

The Bio-Medical Science program is an intensive, full-time engagement in the study of biomedical science through lectures, lab work and field study. Its focus requires independence, dedication and scholarly research on the part of the learner.

Labs included light microscopic examination of prepared slides and dissections of cat muscle, a sheep's heart and brain, and a human skeleton. Field activities introduced students to research in action. They visited biomed facilities, toured anatomy labs, and attended presentations at the John Hay library of historic ancient folios of botanical and medical illustrations.

The program was capped off with student group presentations on careers in the biomedical sciences and individual oral presentations on cell/tissue-based diseases.

"I met people from all around the world and learned about other countries and states, in addition to biomedical science," Alicia said. "I had the opportunity to visit the Brown Medical School, which was amazing, and I never would have had this opportunity without going to this program. I made unforgettable memories at Brown."