Wednesday, March 17, 2010

High school scientists thrive in lab culture

Maza Rose Tchedou, above, a high school senior who has participated in RISE for two years, won a spot in an international science fair with her project, “The Role of Nlp in Drosophila Oogenesis.”

The Research Internship and Science Education (RISE) program gives gifted students from inner-city high schools hands-on experience in the epigenetics lab of biology chair Victor Corces. Since Corces brought RISE to Atlanta three years ago, the program keeps growing and the awards keep coming.

High school freshmen, who see the success of juniors and seniors in RISE, now make getting into RISE one of their goals, says Margaret Rohrbaugh who manages the Corces lab and works closely with the high school teens.

“They are doing true research, studying things that no one has ever looked at before. We help them learn the techniques, but ultimately they are doing the experiments, and they find that exciting.”

Thirteen RISE students competed in the recent metro-Atlanta regional science fairs. “There were about 10 gold keys given out for Atlanta Public Schools and RISE students won half of them,” Rohrbaugh says. The two RISE students competing from Dekalb schools also won gold keys.

The gold key winners continue on to the state science fair in April. Two RISE students also took grand prizes for Atlanta and DeKalb schools, giving them the chance to compete in an international science fair in San Jose, California, this May.

Watch a video from last Spring to learn more about RISE:

RISE teen awarded Gates scholarship

Small steps lead to big career
Teen scientists bloom in lab
Bringing new blood to high school science

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