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Media Contact: Loren Nix
lnix@adventisthealthcare.com
240-826-6047
Media pager: 301-224-5714

Published on October 25, 2012

Fourth Annual Frontiers in Science and Medicine Day

Local Universities, Healthcare Organizations, and Private Companies Inspire Students with Real-World Activities

Rockville, Md. – Too often, students learn about the wonders of science and medicine by reading textbooks rather than getting hands-on experiences that pique their curiosity and intellect. In an effort to spark student interest in science and medicine careers, 20 local private companies, universities, healthcare organizations and research centers have partnered to host lab tours and interactive activities for students as part of the fourth annual Frontiers in Science and Medicine Day on Friday, October 26, 2012.

More than 500 seventh graders from Forest Oak Middle School in Gaithersburg, Md., and Neelsville Middle School in Germantown, Md., both part of the Montgomery County Public Schools system, will spend the day participating in science and medicine activities at The Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, Md. Activities include interacting with a robotic arm from The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, playing a video game used by Shady Grove Adventist Hospital surgeons for training, and making slime using basic chemistry techniques to convert a liquid to a solid led by researchers from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

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

“This is a way to show students that science and math are relevant and can lead to interesting careers that can make a positive difference in our community,” said Dennis Hansen, president, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. “We are pleased to be able to bring these lessons to middle school students through Frontiers in Science and Medicine Day.”

Johns Hopkins Montgomery County, NCATS, 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. Two weeks ago, this year’s program began with a classroom visit led by MdBio Foundation with scientists from a number of local organizations. During the visit, students learned the lab skills they would need on October 26.

“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.”

“It is inspiring to see the students enjoying and learning from these hands-on experiences in science and exciting to know that the interest generated this day will grow into the pursuit of further education and help energize our community’s next generation of science and health professionals,” said Stewart Edelstein, Ph.D., executive director, The Universities at Shady Grove.

Companies participating this year include, 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 University Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus, Lonza, MdBioFoundation, MedImmune, Montgomery College, NCATS, QIAGEN, Salisbury University’s Respiratory Therapy Program, Sanaria, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, TruBios, Universities at Shady Grove, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, University of Maryland School of Nursing, University of Maryland College Park Biological Sciences Program, and Vaxin.

Hands-on activities will take place at The Universities at Shady Grove, 9636 Gudelsky Drive Center Drive, Building II, Multi-Purpose Room, Rockville, MD 20850.

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