Starting the summer of 2020, Salk’s Education Outreach programs went virtual in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the team continued its mission of teaching and inspiring students to pursue careers in science, remaining flexible through uncertain times by offering virtual and hybrid versions of its two summer 2021 programs.

Heithoff-Brody High School Summer Scholars

This summer’s hybrid class was comprised of six scholars, including one who returned to the Stem Cell Core for a second summer after previously attending in 2019. The eight-week internship, generously made possible through an endowment established by the Heithoff Family Foundation, provides high school students the opportunity to gain experiences in scientific research and develop crucial skills needed to pursue a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Founded more than 40 years ago, the program fulfills Jonas Salk’s vision of introducing high school students to laboratory life and the possibility of a career in science.

This summer’s scholars dedicated 25 to 30 hours a week to the hybrid program. Up to 10 hours was spent performing research with their assigned mentors in Salk labs. Scholars spent their remaining time participating in virtual lab meetings and virtual seminars and completing independent projects.

Salk Introduction to Research Science & Communication

Created last summer in response to the need to provide students a virtual alternative to the Heithoff-Brody High School Summer Scholars, Salk Introduction to Research Science & Communication was such a success that this summer it was increased from a four-week to a five-week program.

Fifty students were selected from a pool of over 500 applicants from all over the country. The class consisted of two cohorts of students. The first group was comprised of exclusively San Diego Unified School District students who were funded by Level Up SD, an initiative of the San Diego Foundation. The second group was comprised of students from all across the country, including three students from North Carolina who were selected by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund in appreciation of their three-year gift to the Heithoff-Brody High School Summer Scholars program.

Over the five weeks, students took part in scientific readings and data analysis, completed virtual lab simulations, learned about laboratory practices and participated in professional development opportunities.

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