Monday, May 27, 2024
Summer scholars collaborate with Salk Institute scientists.

Summer scholars collaborate with Salk Institute scientists.

Research Wrapping Up at Salk Institute

There is some critical research wrapping up this week at the Salk Institute in La Jolla. World-class scientists led the work with the help of high school students selected across San Diego County. Twelve full-time, paid students participated in Salk Institute’s Heithoff-Brody High School Summer Scholar program.

The program, founded more than 30 years ago by Jonas Salk, aims to provide local high school students with the experience of working in scientific laboratories and exploring careers in science.

AI Research by High School Students

Will Knickrehm, 16, and David Samy, 17, both students at Canyon Crest Academy, were chosen from more than 350 applicants to conduct research with artificial intelligence (AI). Their AI experiments included recreating body language through computer software to help scientists find patterns in people with often-fatal diseases. Knickrehm explained that the AI system tracks the movement of humans and helps to understand patterns and correlate them with diseases like ALS and cancer.

The Experience of High School Summer Scholars

The 12 students have spent their summer working with mentors who have the expertise to guide them through research and experiments in various types of science. Talmo Pereira, the Salk Institute Fellow leading the AI work, expressed his admiration for the students, emphasizing their eagerness to learn and their willingness to work in an advanced scientific environment.

Genetically Modified Plants

Kaylee Fuller, 18, a recent graduate of Valhalla High School, has conducted research on plants that have been genetically modified to grow deeper roots that absorb more carbon dioxide. She will present her findings before heading to Cal Poly Humboldt. Fuller believes that with the focused efforts of the younger generation, reaching net-zero carbon emissions is an achievable goal.

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