A new world of education

High school students in the DNA Residency Program work in the lab.

The DNA Residency 2011 summer internship program just started.  This is the fourth team that has come through the Pritzker Lab and DNA Discovery Center.  Every year, I am blown away by how smart, creative, poised. and involved teenagers are and by how dedicated to educating and learning teachers are.  This year, we have another terrific group.  Working with me on my Emerging Pathogens Project are students Simona Krifman and Kit McDonnell and teacher Evan Martin.  Teacher Tom Champion and students Griffin Harris and Prahi Thirkateh are working with Kevin Feldheim looking at Great White Sharks.  We couldn't do anything without Erica Zahnle--our supreme organizer.

Each year, the students are responsible for creating a digital project that connects their project in the lab to something outside the lab.  We want the students to use their own authentic voice to tell people about what they are doing and why it is important.  The students in the past have been really good at this.  Check out some of what they created on the Pritzker Lab's website.

I think there needs to be a shift (perhaps even something as strong as a revolution) in how we educate young people.  Many students in the US are falling far behind their counterparts in other nations.  Why is this, and what do we do about it?  These videos were pretty compelling to me, showing that something new, innovative, and creative needs to be tried.  Do you see your own children in the faces and voices in these videos?  If you are a teacher, do you see your students?  What do you think?  How does this make you feel?  How do we make changes?

Here's my group this summer.  Welcome you guys.