Intern Programs through Systems Education Experiences

One of the key objectives of ISB involves transferring knowledge gained through research to the community for the benefit of society. The Systems Education Experiences (SEE) program within the Baliga Lab meets and surpasses that objective through two different internship programs.  One is based on the current research happening within the Baliga Lab and one is based on Project Feed 1010.

8-Week Summer Internship for Rising Seniors In this internship, high school interns complete systems biology research and help develop hands-on instructional modules for students to use as part of their science curriculum.

Please view this 3-minute video for more information on SEE.

Specific Internship Information – Each January, the Baliga Lab posts a job opportunity on the ISB careers website, enabling high school juniors to apply for a competitive, paid summer internship. This internship is very different than those typically found in research labs. The systems biology approach allows students to work with many specialists, directly involving the students in a variety of projects, using many types of technology and techniques. Students gain valuable microbiology, engineering, and computational experience. Due to the unique nature of this curriculum building and laboratory experience, students are highly engaged in creative problem solving as well as both independent and group learning. The internships are focused on bringing these key opportunities to students who typically would not have access to a professional work environment and a state-of-the-art research lab.

In addition to the scientific and educational components of their 8-week internship, students also meet with a variety of the ISB staff allowing them to explore many types of professions and career paths. Who they speak with is up to the students, but usually students meet with faculty members, research scientists, as well as administrative, legal, development, financial, and other “Minds of ISB.”

The program has been highly successful and is externally evaluated each year, promoting the best experience possible. Jessica, a 2007 intern who went on to attend UC Berkeley, had the following to say about her time at ISB. “I learned how to work collaboratively in a lab setting. It was also great to get a feeling for what it is like to be a research scientist. I realized that I can come into something being completely ignorant and gain an understanding of what is happening by asking questions and doing research.”

“This was a really great thing to realize because it made the knowledge of people in the lab seem a lot more accessible to me and a more realistic goal,” Jessica added. “It taught me that I can, although it will take a while, become as knowledgeable about science as the researchers in the lab.”

To showcase their work and to document their experience, students learn from a skilled web designer to develop their own web pages.  View the pages to learn more about what the interns do during their summer at ISB.  If you are wondering what a standard day might be like for an intern, the 2012 interns put together a quick glance into a typical day at the end of their About Us page.  Our 2014 interns also put together a page with information for applicants. For more student comments on the internship, please view this short video featuring our 2011 interns and the above-referenced video featuring one of our 2016 interns. Lastly, for general information and intern news items, see our ISB News Page and search using appropriate terms, such as “intern”.

Even years after their internships, students stay in touch.  Sue Yi, a 2008 intern, emailed us after she completed her BS at the University of Notre Dame in 2014.  She was preparing to enter an MD/PhD program and wanted to let us know that her high school internship was, “…a great experience and really good to get started early.  My experience in the Baliga lab is what inspired me to try research out in college and look where that has lead me!”

Project Feed 1010 Ambassador Program In this internship, high school interns complete systems biology and sustainable agriculture research during the summer.  They also design and implement a way to bring this learning back to their school and/or community center during the year.  Please see the Project Feed 1010 Ambassador pages for more information.

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