Eight Montgomery County high school students recently completed summer internships at IBBR as part of the annual internship program. In collaboration with the Montgomery County Public School System (MCPS), IBBR offers a limited number of high school internships for highly motivated MCPS students as part of the MCPS DNA Resource Center (DRC) program. The internship program provides highly motivated students the opportunity to work with mentors and explore careers in the fields of science and information technology. Lesli Adler, Director of the DRC, works closely with IBBR researchers to place student interns in laboratories. The highly competitive selection process prioritizes those students who have demonstrated interest in science and have completed or are enrolled in Molecular Biology or Molecular Biotechnology.
This summer program, which has been ongoing for over a decade, enables MCPS students to work in IBBR labs either on the Shady Grove or College Park campus. Among the projects undertaken by the students included an analysis of glucose consumption and the standard growth curve of an immortalized cell line under minimal serum conditions. Another student was responsible for expressing a significant bone marrow stimulating factor, granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) and then purifying the protein. “This amazing experience allowed me to use many of the techniques, hands on, that I’ve learned about in school,” commented one of the interns. “The people in the lab were so helpful and I am excited now about studying more science next year in college.” Several of the students will continue working in their designated lab during the school year and in previous years, students have been included as authors on peer-reviewed publications.