Encouraging self-driven curiosity for learning in all students
Written by Scott Heimlich, Vice President, Amgen Foundation
“Why do those mountains look so different?” So said a young girl to her grandfather. She was used to the saguaro cactus of Tucson Arizona, but here they were hiking in the Teton National Forest past a mountain covered with lodgepole pine trees.
Her grandfather was about to tell her the answer when he stopped himself – Should I answer as her grandfather, or should I answer as a science teacher? He decided to respond to her question with a question:
For Saira Sakalaš, learning she was selected as an Amgen Scholar last year was the beginning of a new chapter in her life. She says she will never forget the moment she got an email from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden offering her the fellowship.
From Europe and Asia to the Americas, MilliporeSigmai employees gave back to their local communities in more ways than one during SPARK Week, October 13-21, 2018. Not only did they teach Curiosity Labs™ lessons and host site tours, but they also brought science education to a low-income village and an orphanage, impacting thousands of students by providing them with hands-on experiments to spark their curiosity in science.
Teaching Flavors and Fragrances at Technorama OpenLab in Switzerland
ASP: Can you tell me a little bit about your research as an Amgen Scholar?
Loving: During my time as an Amgen Scholar at the UC Berkeley, I have been working with Priya Moorjani’s lab, which focuses on evolutionary biology and population genetics. I have been developing and implementing a pipeline for reliably estimating the germline mutation rate in primates.
Ask Ivan Simpson-Kent who his early idols were and he would give a surprising response: criminals. This is despite growing up in a dangerous neighborhood in West Philadelphia, where he lived across from drug dealers, often heard gunshots at night, and nearly daily stories of people, mostly youth, getting murdered. “I perceived these criminals as invincible outlaws going against the limits society had placed upon them,” he says.
“My teacher is amazing. This is my second year speaking English for the first time, and she has provided me with help to improve my English skills while learning biological concepts and lab skills. She promotes multiculturalism and diversity, and she deserves some recognition for her hard work.” -Student of Mary Jo Renear at East Longmeadow High School in Western Massachusetts
Héctor L Ayala-Del-Río recently received an unexpected thank you card: It was from a local high school science teacher, explaining that she was having a challenging time in her classroom, but how a recent event that Ayala-Del-Río and his team organized made all the difference. She had attended an Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) teacher appreciation event at the Caguas Science Center, and the act of being recognized “made her feel that everything was worth it and that she should keep going,” says Ayala-Del-Río of the University of Puerto Rico-Humacao.
At the U.S. Amgen Scholars symposium at UCLA in July, an unexpected reunion occurred. When Janielle Cuala took the stage to explain her summer research at Caltech, Kristina Folta couldn’t believe her eyes: It was a friend of hers from Guam with whom she played rugby. “I was so excited to see someone else coming out of Guam and entering the STEM field,” Folta recalls.