Experience with hands-on scientific research is a rare opportunity for most students and can make a significant difference in their careers. Bigelow Laboratory’s Keller BLOOM program gives students a unique look into life as a scientist, and is now accepting applications for the weeklong experience, which will be held May 15th to 20th. The program is open, at no cost, to all Maine high school juniors.
“We are excited to show students a side of science that they may not see in school,” said Nicole Poulton, director of the program and a senior research scientist at Bigelow Laboratory. “Science is about collecting data and learning from it along the way, and that’s the experience we try to give them.”
The program provides 16 Maine students each year the opportunity to spend a week in residence at Bigelow Laboratory in East Boothbay, working alongside researchers to learn about the microbiology of the local marine environment. Students are immersed in hands-on research and explore what a career as a scientist involves.
During the program, students learn sampling and data collection methods and put their skills into practice on a research cruise in the Sheepscot River estuary. They work with scientists using advanced instrumentation to explore microscopic plants, animals, bacteria, and other organisms from the local marine environment.
“It really changed my view on how I see the job of a scientist,” said Marcus Russano, a student from the 2021 program. “It is not just someone who sits in a chair typing or just in a lab all day, but someone who is physically out in the world around us, collecting the data, and then working hands-on with it.”
Current Maine high school juniors, including homeschooled students, are encouraged to apply by April 8. No prior research experience is necessary, and Bigelow Laboratory provides chaperoned room and board. There is no cost to participate in the program. For more information, please visit the Keller BLOOM website.