Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) welcomes budding scientists into the community through a number of programs and experiences. During a LIVE At the Lab webinar conducted on July 1, 2021, panelists discussed how they became involved:
- CSHL School of Biological Sciences Associate Dean Monn Monn Myat supervises aspiring scientists in the Partners for the Future (PFF) program for high school students and the Undergraduate Research Program (URP); she is an URP alum.
- CSHL DNA Learning Center (DNALC) Assistant Director Jason Williams, runs programs for high school students, with some targeting underrepresented minorities.
- CSHL graduate student Connor Fitzpatrick mentors his younger URP and PFF colleagues.
- High school student and CSHL PFF student Diana Benedicto-Jimenez talked about how her experiences are inspiring her to pursue a scientific career.
These programs are designed to give students hands-on experience in research starting in middle school with DNALC camps and labs. PFF is offered to local high school students and URP is offered to undergraduates from universities around the world. High school students can also get involved through the DNA Learning Center’s two-week summer camp, called Science Technology & Research Scholars (STAR), where they are taught research laboratory and computational skills.
The panelists discussed how these types of research experiences jump-started or confirmed their love of science. Panelists realized that being a scientist is so much more than using bottles and equipment; it is being part of a welcoming community, and one in which they can fit successfully.
Williams said, “To have that really wonderful opportunity to catalyze people and to give them that little spark that they need, that gets them to do the next step, that’s a really wonderful aspect of what we have access to in the scientific community and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.”