By Terry Miller
Last Wednesday, ninth grade photography students from Monrovia High had the unique opportunity to visit and photograph a distinctive science laboratory based in Monrovia.
Dr. Paul Webster of Oak Crest Institute of Science escorted the teens around the research facility on Chestnut Avenue Wednesday morning to the delight of the students and their teacher, Anne Battle.
Dr. Webster told the students that photography is a fine science and one that must never be manipulated. Even though we have rather amazing computer tools to manipulate images and results, Dr. Webster pointed out that only color correction and minor imperfections should be part of the post production process. Photography and science should always reflect the truth.
The students were particularly interested in the microscopes and research in an air tight container with giant “gloves” in which the scientists can manipulate the ingredients in an anaerobic environment.
This summer even more young people will be introduced to scientific methods during the three sessions of the Junior Research Academy. Registration opened two weeks ago and the sessions are filling fast according to Dr. Webster. The Academy is a joint project of the city and Oak Crest. The city employs high school students who are trained by staff at the institute. These students then work with the seventh, eight, and ninth grade students enrolled in the academy.
The three sessions are July 1 – July 12, July 15 – July 26, and July 29 – August 9. The cost is only $100 per session (some scholarships are available). Each morning will be spent in the laboratory while the afternoons are dedicated to field trips to such places as Monrovia Canyon Park and the labs at Huntington Library and Gardens. The junior researchers will participate in daily hands-on scientific experiments. The Academy is limited to residents of Monrovia and students enrolled in the Monrovia Unified School District schools. For more information contact the Monrovia Community Center at (626) 256-8246.
But this is not the only opportunity for young people this summer. For students enrolled in high school and college, internships are available. The eight-week program allows the interns to learn practical skills in an active research laboratory. The research projects the interns may be involved with include microbial ecology, new therapeutics, atmospheric chemistry, and bioremediation. The time commitment required of the interns is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. five days a week for the full eight weeks. This is a volunteer position. Applications in the form of a cover letter and resume are due by April 15. The internships will begin June 10 with an orientation and training and will conclude on August 2.