Local Students Among Scripps High School Summer Interns

Ten students from high schools across Palm Beach County will join biomedical research laboratories at the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter this summer as part of the institute’s 15th annual high school student internship program. Among them are Diane Altido of Palm Beach Central High School and Maxwell LeGates of Wellington High School.

The Kenan Fellows, named in acknowledgment of the longstanding support given to the program by the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, represent high schools throughout Palm Beach County.

Working alongside Scripps Research scientists, Kenan Fellows make important contributions to the institute’s research initiatives while learning critical scientific skills and gaining valuable laboratory experience. Interns assist with research on diverse topics ranging from neuroscience and cancer biology to medicinal chemistry and virology.

Each Kenan Fellow is assigned a specific research project by their faculty mentor and presents the results of their studies at an all-day seminar on the final day.

Prior to their arrival on campus, all Kenan Fellows participate in a one-week laboratory skills boot camp as part of a partnership with Palm Beach State College. The boot camp is designed to better prepare students for the eight-week internship experience.

“The biotechnology program at Palm Beach State College is pleased to partner with Scripps Research to provide laboratory skills training for the summer high school student interns,” PBSC Biotechnology Program Instructor Edison Mejia said. “This one-week, intensive training is the first step toward a productive internship. Interns become familiar with basic lab safety, scientific calculations, experimental design, along with data collection and analysis.”

Since its inception, more than 180 high school students and science teachers have completed the prestigious summer internships. In addition to conducting research, interns attend special weekly seminars presented by Scripps Research postdoctoral scientists and graduate students, offering an in-depth look at the latest science taking place on the Florida campus.

“The summer internship program at Scripps Research provides high school students the opportunity to experience authentic, cutting-edge scientific research,” said Jennifer Davis, secondary science program planner at the Palm Beach County School District. “The skills and relationships built through these experiences will serve these students in their future STEM careers.”

In addition to student presentations, the final week of this summer’s internship program will also include the first-ever Kenan Fellows reunion celebration, a special reception and dinner event open to all current and former participants of the program.

This year’s 2019 Scripps Research Kenan Fellows will be: Diane Altido of Palm Beach Central High School (Ja Laboratory), Lynn Deng of Suncoast High School (Scampavia and Spicer Laboratory), Maxwell LeGates of Wellington High School (Renata Laboratory), Elizabeth Lekah of Spanish River High School (Disney Laboratory), Osinachi Nwosu of Lake Worth High School (Scampavia and Spicer Laboratory), Alexcia Plunket of Lake Worth High School (Bannister Laboratory), Samay Saxena of William T. Dwyer High School (Tomchik Laboratory), Charlotte Silver of St. Andrew’s School (Valente Laboratory), Joel Yearick of Suncoast High School (Hansen Laboratory) and Mulan Yin of Boca Raton High School (Karbstein Laboratory).

For more information, visit www.scripps.edu.