The ands-on learning environment is a setting in which many students thrive. Recently, the MGH Center for Comparative Medicine (CCM) offered such a setting to 10 high school interns and their teacher from Norfolk County Agricultural High School (NCAHS) for four weeks in a collaboration with MassBay Community College and the New England Wildlife Center. The project was supported by a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture.
Located in Walpole, Mass., NCAHS combines academics with vocational training in various agricultural disciplines. The school and collaborating organizations, including the MGH, launched the two-year summer internship program as a way for select students majoring in animal science to gain firsthand animal husbandry experience.
A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE: NCAHS students learned about a variety of animals during their summer internship program at the MGH Center for Comparative Medicine.
Angela Howard, Workforce and Outreach manager for the CCM, coordinated the program with Suzanne Greene, curriculum coordinator at NCAHS. During the course, students rotated through a number of CCM research facilities, learning about a variety of animal species and working alongside experienced CCM staff and MGH scientists.
"This was a fantastic opportunity for the students to see biomedical research on a major scale and to appreciate how much of that research depends on quality lab animal care," says Steve Niemi, DVM, CCM director. "The students also benefited from our research animal specialists and veterinarians who described their roles here and gave insight into the animals with which they work. We hope to continue this mutually rewarding relationship with the school in the future."
In addition to the MGH rotation, students also visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the New England Aquarium, Charles River Laboratories, the New England Primate Research Center and the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole.