More than 60 students visited the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience for the organization’s annual Science Career Panel held on Saturday, September 17, 2022. Students from Palm Beach and Martin counties toured the institute, talked with researchers, and then asked questions during a panel discussion made up of scientists at varying stages of their careers.
“Pursuing a career in science can be a daunting challenge for young people, especially if they don’t know anyone in research. By opening the institute to these students, we hope to give them exposure to a wide variety of STEM careers and allow them to connect with scientists who can then see themselves having a career in science,” said MPFI Head of Education Outreach Dr. Ilaria Drago.
Panelists included Katie Shirley, a University of Florida undergrad and technical assistant in the institute’s Light Microscopy Core; Sebastian Bullich, a postdoc in the lab of Sarah Stern; and Matthew Pacheco, Stern Lab research technician, and future MD-PhD student.
Science Career Day is an annual event that gives high school students the opportunity to meet and interact with Max Planck scientists. Panelists traditionally include scientists who are in different stages of their training, from post-baccalaureate students to postdoctoral fellows. Questions ranged from asking about which classes to take to curiosity about the day-to-day routine of a scientist. This is the 7th year MPFI has held the event either virtually or in person.
To participate in Career Day teachers submitted an application explaining how their students would benefit from the experience. The teachers and schools selected for 2022 were: Shari Rodgers, Jupiter High School; Renee Szeliga, Benjamin School; Jacqueline Patrick, Park Vista Community High School; Zenia Echeverria, West Boca Raton Community High School; Marc Turull, South Fork High School; Kimberly Crumpler, John I. Leonard High School.