High school students hit the lab over holidays

14 Jul 2014

Eight Queensland high school students in year 11 spent a week at QBI, putting aside their school holidays to learn about life as researchers.

High achievers from last year’s Queensland final of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge came from Brisbane State High School and Mareeba State High School to spend the week of July 7 at the Institute.

Each student was given the opportunity to spend time in a dozen QBI labs, listen to researchers, go on facility tours, as well as gain valuable hands-on experience performing research tasks.

Activities performed by the students varied from slicing brain samples for use in histology, to feeding mantis shrimp used in visual science research.

The students left the Institute with a better understanding of neuroscience, bringing to life what textbooks taught.

“We’ve looked at genotyping, computer modelling, DNA sequencing and all the amazing equipment they have at QBI,” said Mareeba State High School student Sam Harris.

“I’m looking at studying computer science at the moment, but neuroscience interests me a lot,” he said.

“I’d be interested in doing a combination of the two because there are so many cross-over areas like genotyping, machine learning and artificial intelligence.”

Fellow Mareeba High student Caitlin Goodhew said the experience put a new perspective on her career ambitions.

“Before coming to QBI I’d always intended to study medicine, but now I’m actually thinking about including research in that just from this experience,” Miss Goodhew said.

“Seeing the variety of work here and the working environment, with how people are working together is just wonderful.”

The 2014 Queensland final of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge will be held at QBI on Tuesday July 22, uncovering another crop of potential neuroscientists.

Media: Darius Koreis, +61 7 3346 6353, d.koreis@uq.edu.au