Each summer, the Gladstone Summer Scholars (GSS) internship program recruits six rising public high school seniors to work with a mentor in our labs for 9-weeks. Interns spend 75% of their time conducting biomedical research and 25% of their time in supplementary educational activities. Their work culminates in a final poster session in which students describe their work, hypothesis and findings to the scientific community at Gladstone.
Throughout the internship, students are exposed to the lab environment, trained in basic lab techniques, and participate in a six course series titled “Thinking Outside of the Box” activities. These experiences are aimed to better prepare our interns to pursue an array of opportunities within the biotech field. While the PhD path to science is definitely laid out for our students, they are also introduced to the many high paying jobs in biomedical research that do not require a doctorate degree, such as lab aides, lab managers, and research technologists.
San Francisco is a biotech hub, bursting with world-class scientists and innovations in stem-cell research. However, this lies in stark contrast to the lack of opportunities available to students in San Francisco public high schools, especially in the sciences. We believe that it is important for California to invest in training and employing its local residents for a highly skilled workforce benefits everyone. Many scientific institutions and biotech companies recruit foreign scientists to fill positions in their laboratories. Our GSS internship program for local public school students aims to tackle this discrepancy by training the next generation of biomedical researchers.
Gladstone believes that local public school students can and should participate in the exciting field of stem cell research. The goal of our GSS internship program is to train these students early so as to increase the number of underrepresented students who pursue undergraduate and graduate science degrees; therefore expanding the diversity of biomedical researchers.