Reaching the Next Generation of Scientists
The Morgridge Institute for Research hosted the first-ever Generation Acceleration: Future Scientists’ Stem Cell Camp, July 12-15, 2010. Over the course of a week, students and teachers from the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, GA, and the University of Wisconsin PEOPLE Program learned about the science of stem cells from top UW-Madison researchers. Through lectures and hands-on lab activities, participants learned about maintaining and nourishing colonies of stem cells; practicing techniques for cryopreservation; and introducing genetic factors that direct the cells to grow into heart, nerve and other specialized cells.
Outside the lab, students also had the chance to explore other science topics at UW-Madison, including evening activities hosted by the UW-Madison Food Science Department and the Wonders of Physics Program. During their closing ceremony, campers had the chance to hear from Cecil Martin, a former team captain of the University of Wisconsin Football team and NFL player. Martin now shares his life experiences (both on and off the field) as a motivational speaker for youth audiences. He encouraged Generation Acceleration participants to continue to excel in both academics and leadership, areas that will help them accomplish any goal they set.
Through interacting with scientists, students, and leaders from the campus and community, the Generation Acceleration Camp gave participants a chance to see science in action. Jordan Jones-Wright, a participant from the Ron Clark Academy, summed up camp quite simply: “I learned so much about stem cells. This camp has made me look at the world in a new and positive way.”
In the News: Generation Acceleration: Future Scientists’ Stem Cell Camp
Atlanta Middle-School Students Join Wisconsin Peers at Science Camp
University of Wisconsin-Madison: July 14, 2010
At This Camp, Science Rules
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: July 17, 2010
Stem Cell Camp Whets Appetite of Future Scientists
Capital Times: July 23, 2010
Q&A with Jacqueline DeWalt (PEOPLE Program Executive Director)
Madison Times: August 5, 2010
Ron Clark Academy Students Head to Stem Cell Science Camp
Pioneering educators and scientists have teamed up to launch Generation Acceleration: Future Scientists Stem Cell Camp in Madison, Wis., that will introduce students to a variety of careers in the rapidly growing field of regenerative biology.
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is the birthplace of human embryonic stem cell research and scientists connected with the university and the new Morgridge Institute for Research will welcome students from the Ron Clark Academy during the week of July 12. The Georgia middle school students will be paired with students from the UW–Madison School of Education’s PEOPLE Program, which also works to advance academic achievement among students of color and from families with low incomes.
Although they hail from different hometowns, the 24 students selected to attend the Morgridge Institute’s Generation Acceleration: Future Scientists’ Stem Cell Camp all share a love of science and learning. Together, they will spend their time on campus learning a variety of laboratory techniques and meeting with world-class scientists. Laboratory activities will include culturing and maintaining human pluripotent stem cells and understanding the process of directing “blank slate” cells into specialized heart muscle cells, pancreatic cells and neural cells.
The 12 Ron Clark Academy students selected by their science teacher, Ken Townsel to participate in the camp include:
- Rising 8th graders—Morgan Fambro; Kennedy Guest-Pritchett; Jordan Jones-Wright; Arsene Lakpa; Devin LeMaitre; Kamran Sadiq; Onyx Simpson; and
- Rising 7th graders—Nadia Lowe; Imani Moss; Blessid Ogedebe; Nissaba Stover; James Williams.
Students will be accompanied to the camp by Townsel and the academy’s language arts teacher, Susan Barnes.
Students from the PEOPLE Program who will join the Ron Clark Academy students include:
- Rising 8th graders—Brandon Alvarez-Carrera; Caleb Bell; Maame Brewoo; Nasitta Keita; Cortez McNair; Julius Morris; Austin Obodo; Mariah Ortega-Carr; Haley Parker; Samuel Tazifua; Kenny Xiong.