Here, Nicole Rogers, ISLET scientist at Helmholtz, recounts the day:
For the first time the Helmholtz Diabetes Center (HDC) in Munich, had the opportunity to organise a UniStem day. This is a pan-European initiative where stem cell research institutes teach and inspire young students about stem cell and regenerative medicine research. During this event scientists engaged with the next generation and introduced the students to every-day life in a laboratory and the different career possibilities in science.
On 16th March 2023, PhDs, postdocs and technicians from the ISLET research labs of Heiko Lickert and Henrik Semb hosted a local high school class and their teachers.
The students were given an insight into Diabetes and stem cell treatment methods by Prof. Dr Heiko Lickert (Director of the Institute of Diabetes and Regeneration Research (IDR)), as well as the Scientific project Leader of the Institute of Translational Stem Cell Research (ITS), Dr. Minodora Brimpari. An interactive quiz tested the knowledge of students about stem cells and diabetes. After completing the theoretical part, the students got into action themselves. They learned how to use a real pipette, conducted hands on experiments and were shown a confocal microscope revealing that science is not only very useful but can also be beautiful. The students were also given a tour around the lab showing them live cells and the liquid nitrogen tanks.
Next there was a Q&A round to discuss the diversity of careers in science. This was hosted by a technician, who did not follow the academic path and a PhD student, who is a mother of three. They talked about their career paths to show the students the different paths you can take to achieve your goals and that you can balance job and family in academia.
We hoped that during the UniStem day we would engage and inspire the next generation of scientists as well as bring the world of research and the endless possibilities science has to offer closer to them.
The school students were inspired, opening up a world of science relating to health research. A lasting memory is one of the students responses…
Quote student: ‘You really do this? I thought this only happened in movies’
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