Attracting the next generation of research scientists: research microscope donated by Carl Zeiss helps motivate minority students to pursue science careers.
Much has been said of the fact that American students are falling behind in science; minority students in particular are under-represented and do not tend to choose science as a career path. One doctor and research scientist, with a longstanding interest in education and training, was determined to change this pattern. He established a unique training program that brings minority high school students in the Los Angeles area into working laboratories, and entices them with the excitement of scientific discovery.
Now, with the help of high end research microscope instruments donated by Carl Zeiss, the students have experienced that coveted “Aha! moment” that has certainly changed their outlook, and hopefully set them on a lifelong pursuit of scientific knowledge.
Focused on a target audience of Latinos and African Americans, the predominant under-represented minorities, the program focused on incoming high school seniors, to promote college entry. The annual program now accepts 16 minority students who participate in the 6-week paid biomedical research internship. The students and their families also receive support to help them navigate the college admissions process.
The availability of top-notch Zeiss stereomicroscopic equipment fostered the plan to excite the students and teach them proper lab techniques at the same time.
Carl Zeiss supplied a Stemi 2000C stereo microscope with an AxioCam ERc 5s camera, which can also work as a stand-alone imaging station.
Mark Mobilia, a local sales representative for Carl Zeiss Microscopy who has supplied research grade fluorescence, laser scanning, and laser dissection microscopes to Children’s Hospital for years, has worked to install the equipment and provide technical support during the course of the program. “I was a research scientist before joining Carl Zeiss, and I was gratified to be able to give back to the community, demonstrate that science is fun and exciting, and have a hand in training the next generation of American scientists,” he said.
The program is supported by a host of other foundations and donors and Carl Zeiss is fully committed to helping recruit more minorities into science and has already made plans to supply equipment for next year’s crop of interns, and even hope to increase our financial and technical support.