News Release

Scripps Florida Selects 3 Palm Beach County Science Teachers and 4 High School Students for Summer Internships

Jupiter, FL, May 2, 2005—Scripps Florida announced today that it has selected three secondary school science teachers and four high school students for paid summer internships at its temporary facilities in Jupiter. 

The teachers and students, all from schools in the Palm Beach County School District, were selected on a competitive basis to work in partnership with world-class scientists and their staffs at the Scripps facility on the Florida Atlantic University MacArthur campus in Jupiter.  The interns will work full-time for seven weeks beginning in early June. These programs, based on similar activities at The Scripps Research Institute's La Jolla, California, headquarters, are expected to grow in scope and participation in the coming years when Scripps Florida moves to its permanent campus in Palm Beach County.

Governor Jeb Bush, whose vision prompted Scripps Research to open facilities in Florida, commented, "Today's outstanding announcement is one of many that will come from the unprecedented partnership that has been forged between the Sunshine State and Scripps Florida.  This is an exciting internship program, which will offer a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience for the selected interns.  I thank the Kenan Charitable Trust and The Scripps Research Institute for bringing this program to fruition, and look forward to similar educational outreach initiatives for many years to come."

The teacher participants are:

  • Angela Bischoff of Lake Worth, who teaches biology, environmental science, and chemistry at Park Vista Community High School, Lake Worth;
  • Jairo M. Garcia of Delray Beach, who teaches science, molecular biology, and environmental science at Spanish River High School, Boca Raton; and
  • Brian L. Nelson of Green Acres, who teaches chemistry and integrated science at Wellington Community High School, Wellington.

The student interns, all juniors, are:

  • Dionda T. Burney, 16, of West Palm Beach, a junior at Suncoast High School, Riviera Beach;
  • Austin L. Hurd, 17, of Boynton Beach, a junior at Park Vista Community High School, Lake Worth;
  • Anand A. Parekh, 16, of Boynton Beach, a junior at Atlantic Community High School, Delray Beach (Anand's science teacher, Scott Morone, participated in the Scripps Research internship program on the La Jolla campus in 2004); and
  • Stephanie Y. Wu of Boynton Beach, a junior at Spanish River Community High School, Boca Raton.

The internship programs, along with other Scripps Florida education outreach activities, are being funded this year and next by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust. The $200,000, two-year grant was announced last Thursday by Richard M. Krasno, Ph.D., executive director of the Kenan Charitable Trust and president of the William R. Kenan, Jr., Fund, both based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. According to Krasno, the Trust funds university, college, and school programs, including those at institutions in North Carolina and Florida, the states to which the Kenan family is most closely associated. It supports sustained, substantive training in the arts, humanities, and sciences.

"These internships mark the first formal manifestation of our education outreach initiatives for Florida and Palm Beach County," said Harry Orf, Ph.D., vice president of scientific operations at Scripps Florida, who oversees the programs.  "As the research facility grows, we plan to extend our outreach not only to increase the number of internships for students and teachers, but also to broaden outreach venues.  We are currently looking to bring basic 'introduction to science' lessons to middle school students and are discussing several options for a biotech educational initiative for high school students with the county's science coordinator as well as educational faculty from neighboring universities."

"We hope this is the beginning of a long relationship," says Fred Barch, science coordinator for the Palm Beach County School District.  "The Scripps Florida scientists have been extremely helpful in explaining the Scripps mission to our science teachers.  The summer programs have generated enthusiasm and interest among our teachers and students who are excited about the possibility of working with some of the best scientists in the world.  This interest in biotech will enhance our science program in Palm Beach County."

Both Florida programs for the coming summer aim to provide a hands-on laboratory experience, with teachers and students conducting research in a laboratory under the supervision of a Scripps Florida scientist.  Interns will be exposed to current laboratory techniques and procedures, and will be provided information on a variety of contemporary issues in basic biomedical research.  The programs emphasize the scientific process, research planning, laboratory bench experience, experimental design, data analysis, and interaction with laboratory personnel. As an adjunct to their day-to-day responsibilities, participants will attend specially designed programs and field trips.

The Summer Research Internship Program for Teachers will also give high school educators the opportunity to create ties and linkages to working scientists who can assist them in curriculum development. Teachers are expected to use the laboratory experience as a springboard to create opportunities in discovery-based learning for their students, effect change in their classrooms, and serve as a resource for other educators. They must demonstrate their willingness to pursue year-round follow-up activities based on the summer experience.

The Scripps Florida High School Student Summer Internship Program aims to inspire students in their current and future educational pursuits by exposing them to leading edge research. In addition, it is committed to motivating students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences to pursue undergraduate and graduate programs in the biological and chemical disciplines. Each student, mentored by a Scripps Florida scientist, must complete a specific research project related to the work in the lab in which he or she is working. At the end of the program, each intern will report the results of the project to faculty, family, and friends at a "graduation" ceremony.

About the Scripps Research Institute and Scripps Florida

The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and Palm Beach County, Florida, is one of the world's largest, independent, non-profit biomedical research organizations.  It stands at the forefront of basic biomedical science that seeks to comprehend the most fundamental processes of life. Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its research into immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neurosciences, autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases, and synthetic vaccine development.

The Scripps Research Institute employs approximately 3,000 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, scientific and other technicians, doctoral degree graduate students, and administrative and technical support personnel in 14 buildings overlooking the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, a part of the City of San Diego.

Scripps Florida will be a 350,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art biomedical research facility to be built on 100 acres of undeveloped land in Palm Beach County.  Scripps Florida will focus on basic biomedical science, drug discovery, and technology development, employing more than 500 researchers and support staff by 2010. Palm Beach County and the State of Florida have provided start-up economic incentives for development, building, staffing, and equipping the campus.
Scripps Florida is now operating with more than 100 researchers and technicians at a 40,000 square-foot facility on the campus of Florida Atlantic University in Jupiter.

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