Max Planck Helps Mold Minds During Science Career Panel

Audra Davis with her student, Bryan Cruz, from Wellington High School.

Recently, the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) helped to mold the minds of students interested in a career in science by hosting its sixth annual Science Career Panel.

The event allowed students from eight middle schools and eight high schools in Palm Beach County an opportunity to meet and interact with Max Planck scientists. Students were given the opportunity to hear from scientists in various stages of training, from undergraduate interns to senior scientists, with the goal of peaking an interest in a science career. The day included a tour of a laboratory, lunch with MPFI scientists and a panel discussion.

All Palm Beach County middle and high school teachers were invited to apply to attend, but due to limited space, only 16 schools were selected based on answers to the application question, “How will your students benefit from learning more about careers in science?”

For Carla Case-Sweeney, a teacher from Santaluces High School, that question was easy. “I am always trying to expose my students to experiences such as this. Being a part of this makes me even more motivated to seek out experiences like this for my students,” Case-Sweeney said.

Other teachers expressed similar views. Audra Davis, from Wellington High School, applied to allow her students the opportunity to interact with scientists, but she found it personally rewarding as well. “It allowed me to see purpose in what I do,” Davis said.

Thanks to the panel, students could hear directly from scientists about why they chose a career in science, and what steps led them to where they are today.

When asked why he wanted to attend MPFI’s Science Career Panel this year, Bryan Cruz, a junior from Wellington High School, answered, “I always like to get my information from someone who has gone through what I’m trying to do.”

Plans are already in development for next year’s Science Career Panel because of the impact it makes. For more info., call (561) 972-9000 or visit