Genetics Education and Career Exploration
How many times as a child were you asked ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ What was your answer? Maybe an astronaut or a movie star? Did you ever
consider molecular geneticist, genetic counselor, or bioinformaticist? Interest in these high tech, in-demand careers are precisely what GGC’s Division of Education hopes to achieve through various student outreach programs.
There is and will continue to be a need for educated and highly skilled workers in science and technology. But how do you engage younger students and introduce
them to the field of biotechnology with the hope they will pursue careers in the life sciences?
GGC’s most successful educational outreach program has been the Gene Machine, our mobile science lab.
By traveling to middle and high schools throughout the state, the Gene Machineprovides hands-on educational lab experiences to students.
Why is this important?
Well, unfortunately, not all students have equal exposure and access to equipment and technology in science. The Gene Machine, and our on-campus
Genetic Education Centerhelps to equalize access, making these resources
available to all students regardless of their geographical locations.
In the first 6 years of these programs, we have worked with over 31,000 students, and regularly receive amazing feedback such as:
‘You shared a lot of great information about the science of genetics and careers in the genetics field. I know you inspired at least one of my students today to pursue a career in genetics. As we left the lab tour he told me, “I can do that job”…such a powerful thing for a student to realize and believe.’
‘My students’ experience on The Gene Machine was phenomenal! It is still the #1 best way to engage students in science. It is the best thing that I can get my students to look forward to every year and the results are always superior to the experience.’
We’re seeing positive results like these everyday, but what do we do with these students when they choose a career path in biotechnology? Well, we offer
high school students shadow daysto see what a day in the lab is like.
We provide summer internships for college students to gain real-world
experience and possibly even a publication for their resume. Then, once they have their PhD or MD, they can join GGC’s Medical Genetics Training Program for post-doctoral students and residents.
Education was one of the primary objectives when the GGC was formed back in 1974, and today it remains a top priority. Through advanced educational technology
we are reaching more students and teachers than ever.
But there is work yet to accomplish! Keep in touch and watch us grow!
For more information, contact Dr. Leta Tribblelmt@ggc.org