Outreach Testimonials

Group of students smiling outside

LEAH Knox Scholar

Summer ● 2021

I started noticing that I have an interest in doing research. I had never been in a professional lab before. The lab at our school is nothing compared to an actual lab. Watching the news where people are showing how they test for COVID and develop vaccines, I thought, ‘I did something really similar.’

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Bailey Bowcutt

MSRP ’21 ● Michigan State University ’23

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I applied to MSRP-Bio because I wanted to learn more about what it would mean to pursue a PhD. Graduate school seemed intimidating at first, but after this summer it’s become an achievable goal. I’ve not only had the chance to practice coming up with appropriately-sized research questions, but I’ve also learned how to devise methods to clarify ambiguous experimental results. I didn’t expect to see this much growth in myself, and I know the program is making me a better scientist. I would definitely do it again.

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Cara Bak, Science Teacher

High School Field Trip ● 2015-2019

My students always have an incredible time on the field trips. Some say that going to MIT was the moment they realized that they wanted to go into a career in science. It’s an amazing feeling to provide a student with that ‘aha’ moment that helps them figure out what they want to do in life. The field trips are also a great way for the students to reflect on past learning and current classroom topics. We were covering biotechnology during this year’s trip, and referenced the MIT grad student’s talk multiple times while reviewing the differences between animal and bacterial gene expression back in class.

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Briah Barksdale

QMW ’21 ● University of Maryland, Baltimore County ’22

Although I did not have any coding experience before the workshop, I did not feel overwhelmed. The lecturers and teaching assistants were patient and helped me understand programming languages like MATLAB. I also enjoyed interacting with the other participants and hearing about their interests in science. The skills I learned during the workshop will help me accurately identify patterns in my own results and communicate my findings to others in the future.

Zoom screenshot of person by test tubes

Breetika Maharjan, LEAH Knox Scholar

Summer ● 2021

Coming into this program I had viewed science as this distant, mysterious thing. I didn’t really understand the complexities of DNA and proteins and the applications. But going through the workshops and then having the TAs explain every single process made me truly understand the science — and that made it more real to me.

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Linda Tanini, Science Teacher

Teacher Summer Workshop ● 2019

I have always been interested in the brain and nervous system, and so I was looking to learn more about the current research and how I can apply it to the way my students learn. Through this workshop, I was exposed to some great laboratory exercises that I can easily integrate into my instruction. It also gave me insight into how to tweak the labs I currently do, and make them more engaging for my students. I am excited to return back to my school and share some of the experiences that I learned. I am planning to meet with colleagues in my department to talk to them about how we can work these activities into our curriculum.

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Mario Coll, FIU ’22

QMW ’21, MSRP ’21 ● Florida International University ’22

This was an incredible experience. The faculty and graduate students I met were from very different backgrounds, but they formed a community of people who deeply enjoy research. I had never considered how computer science related to biology, but the workshop made it evident that tools like MATLAB can be incredibly useful. I will apply what I learned to my own research to analyze data more efficiently. I also feel more confident in exploring other computational and quantitative methods, and applying them to my work.

Group of people looking at brain in lab.

Jonathan Shapiro, High School Teacher

Teacher Summer Workshop ● 2019

The neuroscience workshop provided an interesting array of topics related to the field, and it was valuable to meet and work with teachers from different districts and disciplines. I intend to use what I learned back at my own school, introducing my colleagues to these ideas and helping them to integrate the activities I learned. I also intend to see if other teachers are interested in leading a field trip to the MRI facility.

Students touring lab

High School Student

High School Field Trip ● 2019

I really loved looking through the microscopes and observing the flatworms and different kinds of flies, and observing their differences. I also enjoyed the lecture given by the graduate student. It was easy to follow, which made me feel more at ease and comfortable. I really enjoyed the entire experience of going to MIT, and I think it brought us closer together as a class. It helped us feel more comfortable working together.

Person with hair pulled back standing outside in front of trees and blue sky

Leah Barton, Science Teacher

Teacher Summer Workshop ● 2008, 2009, 2015

I’ve attended the workshops out of personal interest, and to network with other teachers. I’ve gained the ability to share snippets of information and experiences with my students. This adds both richness and substance to my teaching practices, and connects students with the real-world implications of information “in the textbook.” Very few of the labs have been immediately applicable to my practice, but having done them enables me to do a better job designing investigations for my students.

Person outside in MIT sweatshirt

Diego Detrés

MSRP ’20 ●  University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez ’22

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Since starting MSRP, I’ve noticed changes in myself. The more I get into research, even remote research, the more I realize it’s what I want to do. Although we haven’t been able to meet in person, I’ve gotten to know the cohort really well and the faculty have been extremely interactive. I’m studying proteins in the lab of Eliezer Calo, who — like me — grew up in Puerto Rico and completed MSRP. Working with proteins is new to me, but I’ve learned a lot through this program, and it’s given me career-changing opportunities.

Students in lab

High School Student

High School Science Field Trip ● 2019

I really enjoyed the whole field trip. One of my favorite parts was the experiment on the chemotherapy pills for colon cancer. It was very hands-on and it was fun seeing the blue liquid turn into a gel. The presentation from the PhD student was probably where I learned the most. She really made a hard subject super easy to understand. It also made me want to know more about the subject. I also liked seeing what kinds of research biotech students do in college.