Budding off the success of the winter project “Roman paths on stem cells”, 20 very motivated high school students were selected to take part to the first pilot of the EMBL Monterotondo Summer School. Experiencing “true” hands-on research was the hallmark of the activities run by us and by the groups who kindly supported the initiative at EMBL and partner institutions (CNR and University La Sapienza).
The Summer School was held at the EMBL Monterotondo from the 4th to the 15th of July 2011. The selection of the students was based on personal motivation, evaluated through a questionnaire and by consulting the opinion of the teachers.
The school spanned over two weeks, during which students had the opportunity to participate in the activities of our research institute: the scientific seminars, laboratory activities, group meetings etc.
After proper theoretical / practical preparation during the first week, each student was given the guidance of a researcher at EMBL or partner organizations (CNR, La Sapienza University of Rome) and followed a research project, performing some of the experiments, interpreting the results and deepen theoretical background. At the end of the experience, each student has made a final report that will be evaluated by teachers and, where appropriate, will count for the allocation of credits.
Besides the scientific value, we believe that such an experience has enriched students also from the human point of view, encouraging their intellectual growth through the “coexistence” of the group, the daily contact with young international researchers, management of tasks and responsibilities and acquiring dialectical tools and critical analysis
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