For the second year in a row, Shoreline’s Biotechnology Lab Program recently hosted Project Biotech, a summer camp for high school students. Over two dozen area high schoolers from 18 different schools attended this year’s program, which offered two separate five-day camps.
The first camp, held on Shoreline’s campus June 22-26, was themed “Introduction to Biotech.” It taught students the basics of biotech including DNA and micropipetting basics. “Intro to Biotech” laid a foundation for the second camp in the series, which was held July 6-10 and focused on the theme “Biotechnology and Human Health.”
During the second camp, 9-12th graders learned about antibodies for disease prevention, viruses, the immune system and Assays used in labs by focusing on the analysis of a fictitious mouse serum to determine if mice had been infected with Hanta virus.
By focusing on practical applications like the analysis of the mouse serum, Project Biotech aims to situate the field of biotechnology in real world scenarios and give students a better idea of what processes and technologies they might encounter in their careers.
Camper Claire Perrin, a tenth-grader from Shorecrest High School, said “I feel so fortunate to have attended Project Biotech, where I learned amazing new things and performed multiple hands on experiments. Project Biotech provided a unique opportunity to learn amazing things and conduct advanced lab experiments that could not be done anywhere else.”
Aside from learning the ins and outs of biotechnology, part of the draw of Project Biotech is its focus on educating students about career options in the field and teaching skills like resume writing and job and internship hunting. Through a career panel and various tours of area labs and non profits, students got to meet role models from the biotechnology industry and academia.
The camp’s career panel exposed students to scientists and staff from Seattle Genetics, NanoString Technologies, Dendreon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Eurofins Pharma Discovery Services. Students also enjoyed tours of PATH, Center for Infectious Disease Research, LabCorp and UW Medicine’s Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Diseases.
As camper Josh McNamara, a twelfth grader from Woodinville High School, put it, “I always knew I liked science, but after Project Biotech I know I want to have a career in science.”
Each week-long camp culminated in a “Showcase of Learning” during which students presented posters and demonstrations representing their favorite camp activities. Open to the public, over 55 people attended this year’s student showcase, which was also attended by industry representatives who met and talked with students about the highlights they took away from the camp.
Project Biotech is made possible, in part, thanks to the generous support of the following sponsors: Shoreline Community College Innovation Fund, Novo Nordisk, Emergent Biosolutions, Illumina, Dendreon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Seattle Genetics, SABArchitectsf, Edmonds School District, Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute, VWR, Shoreline Central Market and GE Healthcare.