SEATTLE — Inside a lab on the ground floor of Seattle Children’s [Seattle Children’s Research Institute] new research facility , kids will work alongside scientists to get a hands-on approach to medical research.
The Science Discovery Lab was designed specifically to host middle and high school students, giving them access to authentic equipment.
“Students learn about immunotherapy, gene editing, infectious diseases, using authentic equipment and tools,” said Dr. Amanda Jones, Director of the Science Education Department at Seattle Children’s. “Today the students are learning how to measure protein concentrations and samples, and that’s exactly what happens upstairs in our immunotherapy labs as part of their quality control process.”
The inaugural class involved 7th and 8th graders from Tacoma’s Visitation Catholic STEM Academy.
“It excites me, and I’m filled with gratitude too,” said Principal Marc Nuno. “I hope that it stays with them and resonates with them so that when they go forward, they do become leaders of STEM and serve children who are sick.”
Emma Meyers, age 13, learned how to use a spectrophotometer – a piece of equipment most students aren’t introduced to until college.
“It’s like you’re special, you know?” she said, smiling. “I mean, you are special but, you get this chance. You watch people do this stuff all the time, now you get to actually try it.”
The Science Discovery Lab could reach up to 10,000 students a year. Classes will be held for various students from across the Puget Sound three times a week, and Seattle Children’s provides transportation for under-served schools.
“The students who are doing this are very young, but they are very smart and very capable so it’s very exciting to me personally to think we’re looking at a room full of our next health care leaders, scientists and innovators,” Dr. Jones said.
Nearly 2,000 people are working at Seattle Children’s Research Institute to make scientific discoveries and find life-changing solutions for childhood diseases.
Building Cure is located at 1920 Terry Avenue in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.
Author: Kim Holcomb, KING 5 Evening
Published:6:28 PM PDT October 15, 2019
Updated:7:48 PM PDT October 15, 2019