June 23, 2010

By hammersmith

For the first time in the four-year history of the KEYS High School Internship program, students from all over the state are participating in this six-week summer science program sponsored by the BIO5 Institute and Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC) in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arizona. Seven of the 26 participants are from Flagstaff, Glendale, Mesa, Rio Rico, Scottsdale and Yuma.


“The program previously accommodated only students from the greater Tucson area, says Kevin Hall,” director of workforce training for the UA’s BIO5 Institute. “We were able to provide housing for out-of-town students this year thanks to a partnership with the Arizona Department of Education. We’re pleased to be able to connect the UA’s top notch scientists with a regionally diverse group of students this year.”


Students’ internship experiences include a weeklong training institute followed by five weeks in-the-lab research under the mentorship of UA investigators and graduate students in the areas of engineering, genetics/genomics, and pharmacology/toxicology. Students also attend weekly seminars to discuss their experiences and practice science communication skills. Their work culminates in presentations to their peers and the public in a poster session on Friday, July 16 from 10am-noon at the BIO5 Institute on the UA campus.


The skills and techniques learned in the program are enhanced by the opportunity to network with others who share an enthusiasm for science–fellow high school students, as well as UA undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and other mentors.


“KEYS is a great opportunity for these students to see what scientific careers are all about,” says Marti Lindsey, SWEHSC community outreach and education direction. “It’s one thing to follow a step-by-step lab ‘recipe’ in a class with fellow students, and another to work with a faculty member on an experiment, to adjust the experiment when the data requires it, and to try a new approach again and again. It really opens their eyes to the bioscience process, and ultimately gives them confidence in their ability to conduct and communicate about a scientific experiment.”


Learn more about KEYS


Editor’s note: Students are available for interviews and photo opportunities in laboratories.


Check out the KEYS Flickr photo stream (Please note that most of these photos are were taken in the classroom during the first week of the internship. Interns are now working in their assigned labs.)


Media Contacts:

Deborah Daun, BIO5 | Office 520.626.2059 | Cell 520.247.7440 | [email protected]

Karin Lorentzen, College of Pharmacy | Office 520.626.3725 | Cell 520.906.8256 | [email protected]