Area students got an insider’s peek into the innovative labs at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies on Saturday morning. Students toured the facilities and even participated in hands-on experiments at Salk as part of the March of Dimes High School Science Day.
The community outreach event was created to give young students an opportunity to explore in some of the world’s leading labs with preeminent scientists, exposing them to a career in science, while shaping the next generation of researchers, according to Salk.
Kristen Espantman, a graduate researcher at Salk, told students to follow what they like.
“Being a scientist is a big-time commitment, but it is worth it if you love it,” she told a small group of students.
Ed Dunn, a senior at James Madison High School, said it was excited to learn a bit more about what he might do in the future.
James Fitzpatrick, director of the Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center at the Salk Institute, showed students fluorescent worms under a scanning electron microscope. He said it is important to help these students see science in a way they can not see it in a high school science lab.
The Salk Institute employs 61 faculty investigators and more than 850 scientists, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. Five scientists trained at the Institute have won Nobel Prizes, and three current resident faculty members are Nobel Laureates.