Rosalind Strickland, senior director of the Office of Civic Education Initiatives, had a unique vision in mind when she created the summer internship program. "My goal was to create a program that would go beyond the traditional shadowing and observation and provide students with real-world, hands-on learning opportunities," she says. Interns are taking advantage of this vision and obtaining first-hand experiences through their internships. Even more impressive than the fact that as high school students, interns are able to move beyond observation at all is the sheer variety of the activities they are permitted to do. From taking vital signs to analyzing samples, interns are being given the opportunity to discover first-hand if their chosen careers fit.
For my project, which involved looking at a type of protein, Amyloid Precursor Protein Intracellular Domain, and discovering the role it plays in Alzheimer's Disease, I did a lot of immunostaining with antibodies on mouse brain tissues. I was able to slice the brains with machines, and I learned how to take pictures of them with microscopes. I learned how to dissect the mouse brains, and how to freeze, store and stain the brain tissues.