Year 2

Our summer research program offered hands-on research opportunities to 10 high school students during the summer of 2013. The students interned in various stem cell research labs and learned how to design and carry out experiments under the direct tutelage of a one-on-one mentor. The students were mentored directly by graduate students, postdoctoral fellows or Faculty members. These students also had the unique opportunity to attend 10 lectures in the stem cell field which were focused on the fundamentals of stem cell biology and the techniques involved. They also attended 8 joint group lectures and special seminars on topics such as careers in science and how to write a research abstract and make a research poster. Students also had the opportunity to attend a local field trip and to attend weekly lab meetings and other peer interactive social events. At the end of the program, these students had the opportunity to present an oral powerpoint presentation within their group and they also presented their research poster at a poster session held on campus. All the students did an amazing job on their research projects and their presentations. Because of this internship program, there were many benefits for the students, mentors and for the future of stem cell research in California. For many of these students, this was the first time they had an opportunity to work in a research lab. As these students came from very diverse backgrounds, this experience had a profound impact on how they viewed scientific research and the many career options that they could explore in the future. This experience also taught them valuable techniques and skills that they will be able to use in future lab experiences in college and graduate school. The students had the opportunity to meet other students who were excited about science research and through the many small group sessions, they were also able to build strong peer relationships within the group. These students were also able to learn the value of what it means to work collaboratively as part of a lab and to have interactions with other trained scientists within the lab. Furthermore, because of this opportunity, one of the major benefits was the self confidence that could be built in these students as they were able to contribute in a meaningful way to the labs’ research aims. This internship also provided valuable mentoring experiences for the direct mentors for these students. In summary, this internship had many benefits for all involved. It provided students from various backgrounds the opportunity to engage in cutting edge research in stem cell biology, and to be part of the pipeline of students who will be our future researchers.