Real-world science for students: Mentoring the next generation of researchers

2011 Annual Report

Real-world science for students: Mentoring the next generation of researchers

TAF Academy students Michael Miles and Cameron Sharpe.

TAF Academy students Michael Miles and Cameron Sharpe.

Science is the foundation for many great discoveries that benefit humankind, and science education is essential to ensuring a better quality of life for all of us. That’s why the Hutchinson Center is committed to improving science education in our schools and mentoring the next generation of scientists.

This year, about 30 students from colleges across the country participated in our Summer Undergraduate Research Program. It’s a competitive nine-week internship that provides experience for students interested in careers in biological research—with a special reach into populations traditionally underrepresented in science and health care.

Students work with faculty mentors who equip them with the skills to be fully functioning members of the scientific community. By making real-world science relevant and exciting for these promising students, we help pave the path for their careers in science.

We also established a teaching laboratory this year for two high school education programs that provide intensive training to promising students during the school year. Our unique programs with Seattle’s Cleveland High School and Federal Way’s Technology Access Foundation Academy focus on a spectrum of techniques and equipment used in biomedical research, which they normally wouldn’t encounter until graduate school.

These programs expand upon our 21-year-old Science Education Partnership, which has trained hundreds of high school science teachers in the use of lab research tools in their classrooms, and our 13-year-old Hutch High symposium, which has brought more than 3,700 students to our campus for an introduction to lab research.