As the dog days of summer begin to heat up, so does the excitement for the arrival of the latest group of Stowers Summer Scholars. Every year, the Graduate School welcomes a group of undergraduates for eight weeks of immersive learning and research. This year’s ensemble includes thirty students from eight countries on four continents.
With mentoring by a Stowers investigator, each scholar will dive deep into an independent research project. They will interact with other members of their laboratory, the Institute’s scientific support teams and other Stowers members. They will experience not only the intellectual but also the collaborative spirit of research.
For undergraduates with an interest in science, but unsure of the rigors and demands of scientific bench work, experiences like these may be the trigger that leads young scientific hopefuls into a lifelong career in research.
Stowers Scholars Program Coordinator Ana Pedraza, PhD, explains that while the experience does provide participants with the opportunity to learn some of the technical skills necessary for a bench-based job in research, it aspires to achieve much more than that. “It is our goal to provide a context for aspiring scientists to participate in the collaborative nature of research-based science. We want them to gain an overall impression of a career in science, not just the rote tasks of an experiment.”
But summer is also a time for fun. The students will get to enjoy time outside of the lab with their fellow scholars. Activities include visits to an amusement park, a Royals baseball game, an escape room, and a tour of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.