Northwest NEWS

April 24, 2000

Front Page

Cedarcrest teens explore world of biomedicine

science students

(In no particular order) Cedarcrest students Megan Grobman, Stacie Lousberg, Katie Gunderson, Aimee Hern, and Michelle Petree after a science symposium at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Staff photo by Lisa Allen.

pipette

Cedarcrest junior Katie Gunderson learned how micro-pipetting is done.
Fred Hutchinson courtesy photo by Susan Edmonds.

by Lisa Allen, Valley View editor

   SEATTLE--Five students from Cedarcrest High School enjoyed a "hands-on" exposure to the world of biomedical research last Thursday during a half-day symposium at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Lake Union campus.

   The Hutch High symposium hosted 400 students from around Washington state and included interactive scientific activities and seminars. Cedarcrest High was the only school on the Eastside to send students to the event.

   During the day, students isolated and "spooled" DNA, prepared slides of dividing cells, learned the art of micro-pipetting, separated blood components, and viewed bone marrow cells that turn green when infected with a virus.

   Cedarcrest students included sophomores Megan Grobman and Stacie Lousberg, and juniors Katie Gunderson, Aimee Hern, and Michelle Petree. The students were accompanied by Cedarcrest science teacher Judy Pierce.

   Pierce said three different speakers touched on topics relating to current research, bone marrow techniques and the epidemiology of cancer. "The speaker who discussed cancer compared how cancer rates differ in other countries," Pierce said. "Students also learned about X-Ray crystallography--how to figure out how proteins function in disease."

   The Cedarcrest students also experimented on "spooling" DNA from a fish.

   Surprisingly, girls outnumbered the boys in the student group from around the state, and there were no boys in the Cedarcrest group. "There are more girls interested in science now," said Pierce. "That has changed over the last 30 years."

   The Cedarcrest students said they were all interested in pursuing careers in science and that the day at the symposium gave them ideas for college and senior projects. Interests ranged from learning about cancer treatments, to forensics and genetics.

   "Fred Hutchinson likes to expose students to research," Pierce said. "This is a good thing for students, since the center is world renowned for the research they have done in bone marrow and other projects."