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LSLC Internship Highlights

Life Sciences Learning Center interns teach in LSLC Outreach Programs; either LSLC On The Road (at local middle/high schools) or LSLC Field Trips (at the LSLC teaching labs)

LSLC Internship Educational Goals

  1. Develop teaching skills though in-class teaching opportunities with diverse student groups
  2. Enhance the intern’s ability to communicate science concepts, concise enough for a middle school student to understand
  3. Hone classroom management skills

Contact us if you are interested in participating in the LSLC Internship

Meet Our Interns

E'Lissa

E'LissaLet’s hear from E’Lissa, a Department of Translational Biomedical Science graduate student as she takes a moment to answer questions for LSLC participants.

What is your hometown? Rochester, NY

If you had to explain what you do to LSLC students, how would you describe your research? My research projects studies how daily exposures to environmental toxicants found in every day products effect mesenchymal stem cells and how they promote fat cell formation.

Why did you decide to intern with the LSLC?  I wish I had an opportunity like this in middle or high school to help break down difficult conceptual scientific ideas to fully understand them better. Therefore, I would like to help students understand something they did not know beforehand and excite potential future scientists. Ultimately, sharing my enthusiasm about science to others is the best part!

What was the first science concept you remember learning in school?  I remember in elementary school, I learned about microscopic bugs (mites) that lived on your eyelashes and eyebrow hair follicles, which absolutely baffled me. I was disgusted, but mostly intrigued. This trigged a passion within me to learn more about microscopic organisms and small molecules that could affect the human body.

You are a scientist, but what other things do you like? I love to run and go on hiking adventures with friends. I also enjoy being involved in science policy activities.

What encouraging message would you tell LSLC middle school and high school students?  Don't ever give up on your goals in life, even if your goals change, still pursue them. Always strive to succeed and work hard; success will soon follow! And remember, SCIENCE IS EVERYWHERE! =)

Jen

JenLet’s hear from Jen, a Department of Environmental Medicine graduate student as she takes a moment to answer questions for LSLC participants.

What is your hometown? Farmington NY

If you had to explain what you do to LSLC students, how would you describe your research? I study a lung disease called pulmonary fibrosis, which means lung scarring. Just like your skin can scar after a bad cut or injury, the lung can also scar. But when the lung scars, it doesn't heal like skin does, and as a result, people who have pulmonary fibrosis have difficulty breathing. We study pulmonary fibrosis because there are no cures for this disease, and more people die from pulmonary fibrosis than breast cancer every year. The goal is to understand how the scarring begins and progresses in order to identify new drug targets. We have identified one potential mechanism for a drug, which is to prevent lactic acid build up in the lungs. Ever have a burning feeling in your muscles after exercising? Like how your legs feel after running? That burning feeling is from a buildup of lactic acid because your muscles are working really hard. A similar thing happens in the lungs in patients with pulmonary fibrosis- there's a buildup of lactic acid. Though it doesn't cause a burning feeling like in your muscles! We know that the lactic acid is really bad for the lungs in fibrosis, so we are trying to find a new drug that can stop lactic acid from building up.

Why did you decide to intern with the LSLC? I decided to intern in order to gain teaching experience. Specifically, I wanted to get experience teaching science to people who don't have as much knowledge of science as the average grad student! I'm interested in communicating and teaching science to the younger population in order to inspire them towards a career in science, or just improve the public's understanding of science.

What was the first science concept you remember learning in school?  I think the earliest thing I can remember learning and thinking was really cool, was when we learned the basics of how plants use water, oxygen, and sunlight to make energy. It was basic photosynthesis. I really liked learning how simple building blocks are enough to sustain life.

You are a scientist, but what other things do you like?  Yoga, hiking, camping, reading, dogs

What encouraging message would you tell LSLC middle school and high school students?  Find opportunities for job shadowing or volunteer at something you think you might be interested in for a career. Even go for things you're not sure that you're interested in! Sometimes learning that you don't like something is just as important as finding that you do like something.

Julie

JulieLet’s hear from Julie, a Department of Neuroscience graduate student as she takes a moment to answers questions for prospective LSLC participants.

What is your hometown? Greece, NY

If you had to explain what you do to LSLC students, how would you describe your research? I study cellular neuroscience, specifically cell death and survival processes following an ischemic stroke (when an artery to the brain is blocked).

Why did you decide to intern with the LSLC?  I am passionate about communicating science with the public and have really enjoyed participating in and organizing educational outreach activities with elementary school children.

What was the first science concept you remember learning in school?  I remember learning about dinosaurs in elementary school. We learned all about their habitats and the basic biological differences between different dinosaur species and I remember being really interested in it. I remember spending a long time learning it and getting to go see the mechanical dinosaurs at the RMSC.

You are a scientist, but what other things do you like? Yoga, running, workout classes, reading, cooking (when I have the time!), traveling

What encouraging message would you tell LSLC middle school and high school students?  I would encourage middle and high school students not to be afraid to try things that might be interesting to them. There are many different opportunities in school that can introduce students to different aspects of a particular field, so it's worth getting involved and giving things a try. I would also encourage students not to be afraid to make a change if they are not quite enjoying a field of study/career path. In the end, it'll be more important to be happy with your work than just continuing with something that you don't like just because you've already started working on it.

Kelly

KellyLet’s hear from Kelly, a Department of Microbiology and Immunology graduate student as she takes a moment to answer questions for LSLC participants.

What is your hometown? Fairfield, IL

If you had to explain what you do to LSLC students, how would you describe your research?
I'm studying the mechanisms that make some bacteria better at causing disease than others.

Why did you decide to intern with the LSLC?   I decided to be an intern because this opportunity allows me to not only share my passion for science, but it also provides an opportunity for me to become a better teacher. Ultimately, I want to be able to share my love of science with others in a way that is fun and exciting.

What was the first science concept you remember learning in school?  I think the first major scientific concept I can remember, actually came from my Dad's veterinary clinic. I learned the concept of how vaccination protects pets from certain diseases.

You are a scientist, but what other things do you like? Sailing, Hiking, Exercising

What encouraging message would you tell LSLC middle school and high school students?
Don't let the fear of failure keep you from your dreams. Look at failure as a learning experience.

Lauren

LLaurenet’s hear from Lauren, a Department of Microbiology and Immunology graduate student as she takes a moment to answer questions for LSLC participants.

What is your hometown? Syracuse, NY

If you had to explain what you do to LSLC students, how would you describe your research? I study a bacterium that causes infections in your lungs called Haemophilus influenzae. I'm trying to understand a strategy called, a toxin-antitoxin system, which bacteria use to survive even when you take antibiotics by becoming dormant (basically playing dead).

Why did you decide to intern with the LSLC?  I have a passion for science and I think it’s important to pass that love for research on to the next generation of scientists. I really enjoy showing students all of the cool things you can do as a scientist.

What was the first science concept you remember learning in school?  I remember learning about ecosystems in elementary school and how different animals live in different environments and have important roles in their ecosystem. I absolutely loved it; I made my mom take me to the zoo after that so I could show her all the different ecosystems there.

You are a scientist, but what other things do you like? Music (I sing and play saxophone, guitar, and bass), ballroom dance, sailing, hiking, reading, video games

What encouraging message would you tell LSLC middle school and high school students?  Never be afraid of giving the wrong answer. All that matters is that you're thinking and coming up with ideas.

Liz

LizLet’s hear from Liz, a Department of Microbiology and Immunology graduate student as she takes a moment to answer questions for LSLC participants.

What is your hometown? San German, Puerto Rico

If you had to explain what you do to LSLC students, how would you describe your research? I study immunology, the science that studies the immune system and how it works.

Why did you decide to intern with the LSLC?  I find teaching one of my passions. I love to engage people and children to learn more about science and ingrain a certain curiosity to learn more about the natural world and the sciences in general.

What was the first science concept you remember learning in school?  In elementary school I learned about DNA. I learned how DNA was a blueprint to our bodies to do many things; color of the eyes, color of your hair and how it even determined who you would most look like!  I thought that was fascinating, how a small molecule can be capable of doing all those things.

You are a scientist, but what other things do you like? I enjoy reading, volunteering at the Rochester Science Museum, running, and watching movies.

What encouraging message would you tell LSLC middle school and high school students?  It is okay if you don't know the answer to something (perhaps an answer to a question). Our research is mostly based on things we don't know, yet curiosity encourages us to ask questions and guide us to try to find an answer.

Interns