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Competing in the FIRST Robotics Challenge

By Kate Sotir, VI Form

Competing in the FIRST Robotics Challenge

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Working in the basement level of the STEM building, using lots of power tools, and occasionally throwing out words like “kickoff,” “drivetrain,” or “STEAMworks,” we are FIRST team 3566, also known as Gone Fishin’.

Gone Fishin’ competes in the FIRST Robotics Competition. FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” The robotics competition, open to any high school student, was created in order to promote the STEM fields and offer a competitive yet collaborative atmosphere for robotics. In the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), teams are given a challenge, in the form of a game, and then have six weeks to build a 120 pound, $10,000 robot to meet this challenge. After those six weeks are up, teams compete in various regional events. The ultimate goal is to go to the world championship, held in St. Louis, where around 800 teams gather to play the game. (more…)

From Classroom To Lab: My Work With T Cell Therapy

By Lilly Drohan, VI Form

From Classroom To Lab: My Work With T Cell Therapy

FullSizeRender-4This summer, I traveled to Seattle, Washington to work in the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. My biology teacher presented me with the opportunity, and I immediately got my hands on it. Studying cancer at the microbiological level in Advanced Biology my junior year really challenged me and stimulated my curiosity, but what I experienced during August turned my attraction into almost an obsession. Dr. Michael Jensen, the director of the lab, takes an approach to pediatric cancer therapy that not many take: using the body’s own immune system to fight off the cancer. Dr. Jensen and his team reprogram immune cells called T cells using virus technology to give the cells specific properties that help them proliferate and target specific molecules expressed on cancer cells. This form of therapy is incredibly innovative and creative, and it was so captivating to be at the forefront of the further development of the treatment for just a brief month.
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Drunk Worms: My Internship and Research on Alcoholism

By Marissa Huggins, VI Form

Drunk Worms: My Internship and Research on Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a serious disease that affects 7.2 % of the United States adult population.¹ This illness is often influenced by genetics; more people are predisposed to develop alcoholism, or alcohol addiction, based on their DNA. While significant discoveries have been made, there is room for growth in the scientific research field surrounding the genetic factors that contribute to the development of alcoholism.This past summer, I engaged in an eight-week long internship at Rosalind Franklin University under the mentorship of Dr. Hongkyun Kim. Dr. Kim’s work focuses on researching muscular dystrophy, ion channel localization, and alcohol and excitability using Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) as a model organism. (more…)