About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4829-4839
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain

MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND SCIENCE VISUALIZATION LABORATORY EXPERIENCE FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS – A SUMMER INTERNSHIP

K.V. Lehmkuhl-Dakhwe, D. Morton, M. Caplan

Columbia College Chicago (UNITED STATES)
During the summer of 2009, the Institute for Science Education and Science Communication (Science Institute) at Columbia College Chicago (CCC) offered month-long, intensive summer internships for Chicago area high school students. The program offered participants research experience in molecular biology and instruction in computer visualization techniques. In this presentation, we will describe the program structure and report the participants’ feedback regarding their experiences in the internship. The feedback has encouraged our group to offer an expanded version of the program in the summer of 2010.

Eighteen of 67 applicants from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds attending Chicago area high schools were selected to participate in the internship. Selected applicants (15 girls and 3 boys) all expressed interest in pursuing careers in the life and/or medical sciences.

The program was designed to aid students in (1) nurturing their interest in science and technology by providing cancer biology research and computer visualization laboratory experience; (2) increasing their communication, self-esteem, awareness, and social skills by providing a diverse and socially stimulating environment for them to work, learn and interact in; and (3) experiencing the rigors of scientific research in particular and an academic environment in general.

The scientific experiments and theoretical aspects of the program content were presented by a PhD researcher with considerable experience working with students. The laboratory set-up and instruction on the technical aspects of the experiments were conducted by a lab technician and an undergraduate teaching assistant. The computer visualization component of the course was instructed by the director of the science visualization laboratory at CCC, assisted by undergraduate teaching assistants.

Participating students investigated the biological activity of natural phytochemicals and their potential use as chemopreventative agents. In conducting these experiments, participants had the opportunity to apply the scientific method; learn the fundamentals of cell cycle regulation; explore cell signaling pathways and how aberrations in these mechanisms can lead to cancer; and practical laboratory techniques including DNA extraction, mammalian tissue culture, western blotting, and immunohistochemistry. Participants were also encouraged to develop their science communication and presentation skills by learning computer science visualization applications. Participants presented their findings and their science visualization products to invited guests and the public at large at final symposia.

During the post-program survey and interview process, we asked for participants’ attitudes toward science and impressions regarding changes in their interest in science, determination to pursue careers in science, confidence in their abilities to conduct scientific investigations, ability to communicate science, and their ability to collaborate with others. We also inquired as to the utility of the experience in terms of the college application process and pursuit of the college degree. The positive feedback provided by the participants has led us to develop an expanded internship to be offered in 2010.
@InProceedings{LEHMKUHLDAKHWE2010MOL,
author = {Lehmkuhl-Dakhwe, K.V. and Morton, D. and Caplan, M.},
title = {MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND SCIENCE VISUALIZATION LABORATORY EXPERIENCE FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS – A SUMMER INTERNSHIP},
series = {4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-5538-9},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {8-10 March, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {4829-4839}}
TY - CONF
AU - K.V. Lehmkuhl-Dakhwe AU - D. Morton AU - M. Caplan
TI - MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND SCIENCE VISUALIZATION LABORATORY EXPERIENCE FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS – A SUMMER INTERNSHIP
SN - 978-84-613-5538-9/2340-1079
PY - 2010
Y1 - 8-10 March, 2010
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2010 Proceedings
SP - 4829
EP - 4839
ER -
K.V. Lehmkuhl-Dakhwe, D. Morton, M. Caplan (2010) MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND SCIENCE VISUALIZATION LABORATORY EXPERIENCE FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS – A SUMMER INTERNSHIP, INTED2010 Proceedings, pp. 4829-4839.
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