Ms. Brooks and Ms. Swarner had the opportunity to take 13 students to the Buck Institute of Research on Aging. They started the day early, 7:00 am, and began the day with a lecture from a stem cell scientist, Chong He. She told us about her work prior to coming to Buck. Chong worked in China on stem cells and inflammation and then she incorporated her past work with her current work on STEM cells and age related diseases. She presented an introduction to model organisms used for the research at the Buck Institute. Next, she led the students through a simulation case study for an investigation based on should STEM cells be used to treat intestinal disease.
Later, students were led on a tour by a docent of the facility and took a quick look in the stem labs, and concluded the day with an invitation to participate in a summer scholars program aimed at juniors and a summer institute targeted for seniors and above.
Ms. Swarner & Ms. Brooks had the opportunity to take 13 students to the STEM day at Medtronic in Santa Rosa on November 16th. They started off their day at Medtronic with a light breakfast as their guide Renee Lawson explained what their day would look like. Next, they had a brief presentation by an engineer about the future outlook for STEM careers, pay and types of degrees, and careers within the STEM field.
Next they were split up into small groups to meet with researchers and engineers about products that they are either working on or have experience with. The students rotated through each of the following groups and participated in demonstrations, and Q&A sessions with engineers and scientists: coronary stents, aortic stents, renal denervation and heart valves.
Next, they toured labs within the facility. This tour included the chemistry lab, 3D printing lab, materials lab and a room where students dissected a heart with scientists. In the chemistry lab, they had the opportunity to participate in an analysis of caffeine, and used their math and a little calculus as the samples were run through a high pressure liquid chromatography. In the 3D printing lab they saw large scale models of stents that were being produced and used in marketing and advertising. Their third stop was the materials lab where they learned about metallurgy and alloys and participated in a demo that showed the memory of metals used in the stents. The last lab experience was dissecting a pig heart with scientists and learning about parts, function and pathologies of the heart.
The day concluded with a hosted lunch with scientists and engineers, which included an informal Q&A session. The host, Renee Lawson, introduced the high school students to an internship program and encouraged all students to apply! It was an amazing experience and day for all!
This blog is part of the Calistoga Jr/Sr High School's College & Career Center website. The goal is to post stories, presentations, and information relevant to supporting students as they explore their educational and career goals and opportunities, and to keep the community up to date on the services offered.