High school students add science to their summer

For the last three weeks of July, the Discovery Building hosted 70-plus Wisconsin high school students and teachers for the Rural Summer Science Camp.

The campers lived on the UW–Madison campus for the week and spent their days delving into various science topics. Hands-on activities encompassed everything from CAR-T cells and cancer therapies to fluorescence microscopy and stem cell differentiation, and lunches were spent learning from scientists and discussing the ethics of topics like gene editing.

For 13 years now, the camps have helped more than 300 rural high school students from nearly 80 state high schools.

Neveah, a rising senior from Wild Rose High School, said the experience taught her about potential STEM career paths she didn’t know existed.

“This opportunity has really just opened my eyes to what I think I want to do with the rest of my life,” Neveah says. “I have to decide where I want to go to school and what I want to [study], and now I honestly think I’d love to be a researcher.”

Thanks to the support of private donors and sponsors, including the Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, BioForward, the Kathy Smith Fund, and the Melita Grunow Fund, the camp has been offered free of charge since its inception.