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Frontiers in Science and Medicine Day: For Third Year, Local Universities, Healthcare Organizations, and Private Companies Seek to Spark Student Interest in Science

October 19, 2011

Rockville, MD – Twenty local universities, healthcare organizations, private companies, and research centers once again have teamed up to offer Frontiers in Science and Medicine Day to 600 Montgomery County Public School middle school students.

Seventh graders from Lakelands Park Middle School and Ridgeview Middle School in Gaithersburg, Md., will spend October 28 participating in hands-on science activities at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus. Activities include learning about personalized medicine from a Johns Hopkins University biotechnology professor, playing a video game used by Shady Grove Adventist Hospital surgeons for training and finding out why grape Kool-Aid is purple from the National Institutes of Health Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC).

“Frontiers in Science and Medicine Day helps introduce students to the possibilities of careers in science and medicine,” said Dr. Christopher Austin, director of NCGC. “Educating students about the limitless potential of science, technology, engineering, and math provides a solid foundation for a lifetime of exploration and learning.

”In addition to the hands-on activities, students will have the opportunity to spend an hour in a local laboratory, seeing first-hand what scientists do each day.

“We are reaching students at the perfect age in middle school to spark interest in biosciences,” said Dennis Hansen, President of Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. “The hands-on, real-world experience we offer through Frontiers in Science and Medicine Day encourages passion in young students to commit to careers in science and medicine.”

Johns Hopkins Montgomery County, NCGC, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, and the Universities at Shady Grove spearhead Frontiers in Science and Medicine Day with the support of 20 local businesses and organizations. In addition, this year the Frontiers program included a classroom visit by scientists from a number of local organizations during which students learned the lab skills they would need on October 28.

“During last year’s Frontiers Day, a student said to me, ‘This is the best day of my life,’” said Elaine Amir, Executive Director, Johns Hopkins Montgomery County. “While we won’t know the true impact programs like this will have on the science workforce for another 10+ years, the overwhelmingly positive feedback we receive leads us to believe that we’re making a real difference.”

“We expect an educational and fun-filled day in the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center that will capture the interest of students and help energize our community’s next generation of science and health professionals,” said Dr. Stewart Edelstein, Executive Director, Universities at Shady Grove.

Companies participating this year include 20/20 BioResponse, BioReliance, Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute, Human Genome Sciences, University of Maryland Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research, J Craig Venter Institute, Johns Hopkins Center for Biotechnology Education, Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals, Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus, Lonza, MdBioFoundation, MedImmune, Montgomery College, NIH Chemical Genomics Center, QIAGEN, Sanaria, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, TissueGene, Universities at Shady Grove, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and Vaxin.

Hands-on activities will take place at the Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus, 9601 Medical Center Drive, Academic & Research Building, Rockville, MD 20850. Please note that the Medical Center Drive entrance to campus is closed due to construction. All visitors must enter campus via Broschart Road. Frontiers-2011-Logo-with-Clear-Background.png

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