PHILADELPHIA (June 1, 2017) - Approximately 200 students from five area high schools will come together at Fox Chase Cancer Center on June 5 to present data they gathered through the Center’s Immersion Science Program.
In Fox Chase’s Immersion Science Program, students are able to provide valuable data that can help working researchers, while also having the opportunity to explore science in a hands-on way. This year, students have been screening dietary chemicals to identify foods that may interfere with targeted cancer treatments.
Fox Chase is the first cancer center to develop a large-scale, low-cost citizen science program for cancer research.
“Students are doing real research with the potential for rapid impact on patients,” said Alana O’Reilly, PhD, scientific director of the Immersion Science Program. “By identifying foods that patients should avoid while having targeted therapy, we can potentially tailor diets to improve the efficacy of those treatments.”
In addition to presenting their results at the mini-symposium, students will hear from a variety of speakers and will have the opportunity to meet and interact with Fox Chase scientists. The event runs from 10 am to 1 pm.
The primary goal of the Immersion Science Program is to provide comprehensive science research training to high school students to prepare them for future careers in science and health. The Immersion Science Program hosts a number of events, training courses and programs for both students and teachers, among them, the Immersion Science Teachers Program. This initiative trains high school teachers to implement lab practices that allow students to participate in real-time research experiments. The program is funded through a grant from the Society for Developmental Biology in partnership with Fox Chase.
“Science is not an easy subject and it can easily become a lecture class when there’s a tight budget,” said Dara Ruiz-Whalen, education director of the Immersion Science Program. “These teachers are showing the importance and impact of hands-on learning.”
Schools participating in the program include Abraham Lincoln High School, Academy at Palumbo, A String Theory Charter School, and Nazareth Academy in Philadelphia and Kingsway Regional High School in New Jersey.