Medically Inclined College Bound To Work Alongside USF Researchers

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only 45 percent of American students who enroll in college will ultimately earn a bachelor’s degree, which is why pre-college camps are so important. But one program in particular offers students the chance to not only experience college life, but make a contribution as well.

From July 8-13, 2012, The University of South Florida (USF) Office for Undergraduate Research is offering a seven-day residential program for high school and homeschooled students interested in medical study and research, The 20 students chosen for USF's 2012 STEM Academy will work alongside doctoral graduate students under the direction of internationally recognized faculty in the area of diabetes. In addition, participants will gain hands-on experience in the university's state-of-the-art research facilities. 

Each student will be issued a lab coat and assigned challenges to address in USF labs, according to Richard Pollenz, associate dean of Undergraduate Studies and professor and director at USF's Office for Undergraduate Research.

"The students will have an opportunity to actually carry out an ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) experiment on blood samples to evaluate the level of insulin that it contains," explains Pollenz. "This experiment will be conduced by the students in one of the basic science laboratories in the Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology (CMMB)."

At the end of the week, students will be required to present their solutions in a 10-minute presentation in front of parents and STEM faculty. "The solution will be recorded and may be used as a teaching module for future classes at USF or as science literacy or education modules to the general public or K-12 and placed on itunesU of USFu-tube," says Pollenz. 

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh 
Source: Richard Pollenz, University of South Florida

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