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.
Molecular Cardiology & Cardiovascular Medicine
On the first day of my internship, I received a crash course on lab work, including a lengthy tutorial on micropipetting. We began to do experiments almost right away. After my training, I was allowed to do almost all of these tests completely on my own. I created my own agarose gel to be used when I carried out capillary electrophoresis, I used the thermal gradient machines for PCR, and I used an array of centrifuges and vortexers in order to prepare my solutions. I never thought that I would be doing such a large amount of advanced experiments routinely this summer. Overall, I can't believe that I'm getting paid to work here!