NOVA Fall Lab Tours
By Sam Bacharach
This month, as a part of NOVA’s annual Fall Lab Tours, we hosted 12 high school seniors from the Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy. At this school (which is only one mile West of us), students choose a specialized biomedical pathway at the end of their sophomore year. Such pathways include nursing, pharmacy, EMT, dental, and in the case of the students that visited us, biomedical sciences. Here, students explore topics such as physiology, genetics, and public health through classwork, hands on experience, and on-site visits to hospitals and research institutions. This year, NOVA invited the seniors in this pathway to our campus in order to give them a taste of the research going on in our institution and r them a sense of what it’s like to be an academic scientist.
Ten labs across UMB gave 15-minute demonstrations for these students. Students got to observe science ranging from an EEG demonstration in the Seminowicz lab, to rat behavior in the Calu lab, to high resolution cellular imaging in the Blanpied lab. Over a pizza lunch, we got to sit down with the high schoolers as well as representatives from Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger’s office and talk about life as a scientist. Students and congressional aides alike were very interested in the broader implications of our research as well as the mysterious and exotic life of a graduate student. On behalf of NOVA, thank you to the Blanpied, Bloch, Calu, Fiskum, Lipinski, McCarthy, Rizzo, Thompson, Seminowicz, and Strickland labs for taking the time to design and give these demonstrations.