Camp Zon Opens Doors to 12 High School Students

August 8, 2019

For the first time, the Zon lab in the Boston Children’s Stem Cell Department opened their doors to 12 high school students. The students were selected from several schools, including Boston Latin High School and two students from California and New Jersey. The students participated in Camp Zon – a unique two-week high school research experience – a program created by Alicia McConnell, a postdoctoral fellow in the Zon lab.

Students were divided into two teams, one working on blood and the other working on cancer. The blood group worked on a project related to anemia and tried to figure out how to increase the number of red blood cells in the fish. The cancer group studied how cancer-causing genes affect the development of melanocytes and melanoma.

Over the two weeks, students identified an open research question, designed experiments to test their hypothesis, performed the experiments, and analyzed their data. They performed both molecular biology techniques and worked with zebrafish. At the end of the two weeks, the young scientists presented their research.

In addition to the research experience, the students got advice from top scientists and doctors during career panels, learned how to critically read and discuss scientific literature, and toured Harvard University’s main campus led by a Harvard undergraduate working in the lab. Overall, the hard work of the students and laboratory mentors made the inaugural year of Camp Zon a great success!