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'Inspiring' teens with 'research virus': Expert-mentored bioscience contest proves a powerful vector
Date:2/20/2013

arents waiting to drive their kids home. These parents, however, are sitting outside the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology lab of Dr. Morley Hollenberg, MD, PhD, an all-star SBCC mentor for the past 10 years.

"I think it's important to catch students early on and infect them with the research virus," he says, adding that "the science they do is way beyond what I did in high school."

"For me, it's the pleasure of passing on what was passed on to me. Mentorship was very important in my own career," he says. "Quite a few SBCC competitors end up in graduate or medical school. You never know what one of these students will be able to do in the future."

  • Says Dr. Kurt Haas, a scientist at the University of British Columbia's Brain Research Centre and tutor of SBCC contenders for the last eight years: "Mentoring is the most rewarding part of my job."

    "My lab is here to produce solid science and the high school students actually make a contribution," he says. "When teens are exposed to real research, they're excited by learning. These are the kinds of kids Canada needs."

  • Of all the images a visitor might expect at Agriculture Canada's research lab in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, its unlikely they include a trio of Grade 8 pupils testing biological herbicides. But that's where three Montgomery Public School students are this winter, preparing their project for this year's Junior SBCC, Saskatchewan's unique elementary school program for kids in Grades 7 and 8.

    Pre-teens "have very open minds and see things differently," says their mentor, Research Scientist Dr. Karen Bailey. "A lot of science is about looking for things that don't fit the norm and asking 'why is this different?'"

    "The kids bring a level of excitement to the lab," Dr. Bailey adds. And she chuckled recalling one young ward last year who told her: "It was fun doing this, but I'm not going to be a scientist. I think I'll be a doctor."'/>"/>


  • Contact: Terry Collins
    tc@tca.tc
    416-538-8712
    Bioscience Education Canada
    Source:Eurekalert

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