Summertime typically brings memories of hot days and relaxation, but at Torrey Pines Institute’s Summer Internship Program for Teachers, local science teachers are given the opportunity to learn novel research techniques and develop working relationships with renown scientists, all while enjoying a productive learning environment in a distinguished lab setting. The program also provides experiences that aid in teacher’s curriculum development, which can be shared with their students and colleagues back at school.
Southport Middle School Science Teacher Cristina Veresan was chosen to participate in this year’s Torrey Pines Teacher Internship Program with the goal of using her internship experience in a modern biomedical lab setting to help increase her student’s interest in science and to inspire students to prepare themselves for an increasingly scientific and technical workforce.
“My teacher internship at Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies was the kind of experiential, authentic learning experience that I strive to provide to my students each day as a teacher,” Cristina stated on her last day as Teacher Intern. “I cannot wait to share my knowledge of current scientific practices with St. Lucie County teacher colleagues and students!”
In the biology lab, Cristina worked with the Western Blot technique, a widely used analytical technique used to detect specific proteins in tissue samples, and the Bradford assay, an analytical procedure used to measure the concentration of proteins in a solution. Collecting and analyzing data during her internship increased the effectiveness of Cristina’s teaching experience to her students.
“Experiencing the scientific process firsthand has improved my ability to convey scientific concepts to my students and to coach students through their own investigations,” Cristina said. “I also gained a greater understanding of the diverse scientific career opportunities that are available to my students. Overall, I would recommend the teacher internship at Torrey Pines Institute to any science teacher!”
The Torrey Pines Institute also hosted 9 student interns, including Sunshine State Scholar Jacob Waddell, in biology, chemistry and computational chemistry labs, as well as administrative support staff, during their Student Summer Internship Program 2011.