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March of Dimes High School Science Day introduces students to research careers

March of Dimes High School Science Day

Rusty Gage gives a fascinating lecture to the auditorium filled with students.

Forty -nine Salk scientists in 18 labs hosted approximately 200 students and teachers from 21 schools on March 3, for the 23rd annual March of Dimes High School Science Day. The event was anything but a numbers game. Participants took part in engaging hands-on laboratory experiences and enjoyed a group lunch; afterward, Salk professor Fred "Rusty" Gage gave a presentation about the uses for induced pluripotent stem cells.

While attendee comments about the event were universally positive, for some students, a half-day behind the scenes at the Institute may have changed their educational and career plans. "Great, great, great way to spend a Saturday!" said a student from the California Academy of Mathematics and Science afterward. "I've known I wanted to work in medicine, and this amazing journey opened my horizons to the expansive careers in science."

Added a participant from Steele Canyon High School: "This was an amazing experience! I think everyone 'on the fence' about their college plans should experience this."