LABS - Institute for Educational Advancement
 

LABS advances students’ intellectual curiosity and passion for STEM by exposing them to innovative research conducted by brilliant scientists in the field.

Learning Among Brilliant Scientists (LABS) students gain access to new knowledge and are introduced to the skills needed to be a successful scientific researcher through workshops that include a seminar and hands-on learning experience.

 

LABS develops the whole child by:

  • Engaging students in a unique educational experience to learn about a brilliant scientist’s current research work.
  • Promoting optimal challenge for students seeking opportunities to further their interests and passions in the STEM field.
  • Building a community of like-minded learners interested in STEM.
LABS Schedule and Application
LABS FAQ

“LABS provides to engage students early on in unique research topics. I was so impressed by these students’ intuition for science. They expressed a lot of insightful observations about the topic. This is the type of experience I wish I had had as a young student.” LABS Speaker

Upcoming Lectures

Biological soil crusts (often called ‘biocrusts’) are communities of diverse organisms, including bacteria, mosses, and lichens. While they typically stand less than half a centimeter tall, biocrusts are incredibly important in drylands and deserts worldwide, where they represent up to 50% of soil surface cover and regulate critical ecosystem functions like nutrient cycling. Since these communities are easily damaged or destroyed by human activities, they are also of considerable concern in managing dryland environments. We will explore the different organisms that compose biocrusts, and learn about some of the specialized traits, such as desiccation tolerance and clonal growth, that allow them to survive and reproduce in harsh environments. We will also investigate how data gathered through the sequencing of environmental DNA can provide information on the composition and function of bacterial communities associated with different biocrusts.

 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

IEA is very excited to host Dr. Kirsten Fisher as a returning LABS speaker. She earned her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2004, completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, NC, and is currently a Professor of Biological Sciences at Cal State LA, where she has worked since 2008. Dr. Fisher teaches courses in General Biology, Evolution, Plant Systematics, and Science Writing, and serves as the curator of the CSLA Herbarium. Her research interests revolve around the molecular ecology of a desert moss species, Syntrichia caninervis. As plants that must rely on external water for all their life processes, mosses are typically associated with predictably moist environments; thus, moss species that survive and persist in severely water limited environments such as deserts provide a unique system for studying the short- and long-term genetic consequences of specialization for extreme environments.

 

DETAILS

When: Saturday, February 29th, 10:30 am-1:00 pm

Duration: 2.5 hours

Where: IEA Learning Center, 540 South Marengo Avenue, Pasadena, California 91101

Cost: $50*

Please note upon registration, a LABS Series team member will be in touch with you via email to confirm and finalize your child’s enrollment in the workshop.

*Scholarships are available to qualified families in need. 

Sign Up
Questions? Contact us!

ELIGIBILITY

Participants must be:

  • Ages 12-16
  • Passionate about learning
  • Interested in pursuing an advanced STEM research topic

*You do not need to be a current IEA student to register for LABS. Students from all school districts are welcome.

How can we determine why our cells go rogue and turn cancerous? Investigators across many different specialties have come together to tackle cancer, making the field of cancer biology trans-disciplinary and diverse. The convergence of their efforts tells us that evolution of specific cells driven by mutations in their genes are responsible for cancer. Their efforts have also taught us how to handle specific molecules to target the cancers’ weaknesses and discover treatments and cures that save millions of lives every year. We will explore various techniques cancer biologists use to compare normal cells to cancer cells, including microscopy and nucleic acid extraction, to get a glimpse of the first steps taken in cancer research to transform the world.

 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Nicole Salazar received her PhD from the University of Miami in 2014. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford followed by a brief stint at a successful startup focusing on immuno-oncology research. Nicole joined SFSU as a cell & molecular biology faculty member in 2018. At SFSU, her lab focuses on chemokine receptors– proteins that are necessary for normal health, but that in the context of cancer, can become promoters of cancer progression. Nicole is all about promoting education by translating science research with the goal of increasing education among the general public and identifying improved therapeutics to eradicate cancer.

 

 

 

DETAILS

This LABS is offered by the Institute for Educational Advancement in cooperation with the Gifted Support Center in San Mateo. Registration is first-come, first-served.

When: Saturday, March 7th, 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Duration: 2.5 hours

Where: Gifted Support Center, 205 E 3rd Avenue #201, San Mateo, California 94401

Cost: $80*

Please note upon registration, a LABS Series team member will be in touch with you via email to confirm and finalize your child’s enrollment in the workshop.

*Scholarships are available to qualified families in need. 

Sign Up
Questions? Contact us!

ELIGIBILITY

 

Participants must be:

  • Ages 12-16
  • Passionate about learning
  • Interested in pursuing an advanced STEM research topic

*You do not need to be a current IEA student to register for LABS. Students from all school districts are welcome.

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