Local High Schoolers Attend Biotechnology Day

Local High Schoolers Attend Biotechnology Day

Biotechnology Day

More than sixty high school students from Evanston and Chicago experimented with polymer slime, toured laboratories and discussed careers in biotechnology with graduate students during Biotechnology Day at Northwestern University, a one-day life sciences festival.

The community event was designed to expose high schoolers to the breadth of opportunities and career possibilities in the biotech industry. It included students from Evanston Township High School, Beacon Academy in Evanston and Curie Metropolitan High School in Chicago.

 In one of several workshops, the students examined bags of frozen animal bone and fat and talked about changing the properties of materials. They discussed polymers, dropped gelatin into calcium chloride and ingested edible spheres.

They also conducted an experiment with an alloy that “remembers" its original shape. After twisting the wire and dropping it into hot water, they watched the material spring back to its pre-deformed shape.

“I had no idea materials science was even a field,” said Mykaela Barbosa, a junior in the International Baccalaureate Biology program at Chicago's Curie Metropolitan High School. “It’s great to see there’s so much more out there than being a doctor or a nurse.”

After the hands-on activities and lunch, Northwestern undergraduates led tours of labs, including the Northwestern University Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center (NUANCE) and the Northwestern University Center for Atom-Probe Tomography (NUCAPT).

The annual program, hosted by the McCormick School of Engineering’s Master of Biotechnology program, was co-sponsored by the Biotechnology Training Program and the School of Education and Social Policy’s Office of STEM Education Partnerships.

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 11/11/16