Year 3

During the summer of 2014, our summer research program offered hands-on research opportunities to 10 high school students from California. The students learned how to design and carry out experiments under the direct mentorship of a graduate students or post-doctoral student within a stem cell based research lab. These 10 students also attended 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 on a variety of topics and special seminars on topics such as how to write a research abstract and make a research poster. They had the opportunity through these joint lectures to hear from famous Faculty in various fields including a Nobel Prize winner.During the summer, the 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 presented 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 a wonderful job on their research projects and their presentations. The internship experience had a great impact on all the students and 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.