BAR HARBOR – The Jackson Laboratory opened its doors to more than 100 students from across Maine for the annual open house.
“They come here and get a kind of inside experience about what it’s like to be at the Jackson Lab,” said Mike McKernan, program director for STEM and undergraduate education.
Students spent the day at the Bar Harbor campus getting a hands-on learning experience through a panel discussion and workshops.
McKernan said some of these students know they want to further their education in biomedical sciences while others are still deciding.
This open house allows them to meet the mice researchers use to study human diseases, discover the legal side of biomedical research or look through the different microscopes.
“There’s so much data that’s available that we need to utilize computer sciences to better understand all this genetic information. So they’re doing that today with scientists who does it every day in their day to day work,” McKernan said.
They said welcoming students to the lab gives them the opportunity to learn about the undergraduate education they can receive and how to get on a degree path that aligns with their goals.
“I think it’s important because we have some really awesome interesting career paths that people are following here a the lab,” said Genomic Educator Emaly Piecuch.
“Learning about these things earlier [is] are better so you can get on the path that you’re really passionate about,” she said.
McKernan said he hopes students meet others with similar interests while seeing the endless opportunities they have after high school in biomedicine.
“It’s a way for us to profile the research that we do and the careers that we have available here and also to really help inspire students to want to peruse a career in biomedical medicine,” McKernan said.
“There are a number of paths they can take to getting from either their roles as a high school junior, a high school senior all the way through college and into a career,” he said.