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Campus Beat LogoA high school student wearing protective goggles analyzes the contents of a beaker under the watchful eye of her mentor, also in goggles. With the help of mentor Nichole Coleman, right, Kailin Karen Huang, left, conducted research last summer aimed at slowing the prolifeation of prostate cancer. Photo by Lui Gino de Grandis.

Sowing the Seeds of Science

Kailin Karen Huang started her senior year at San Francisco's Galileo High School with fodder for a pretty impressive "what-I did-over-the-summer" essay. She spent her summer at SFSU assisting Professor Cliff Berkman in his research efforts to slow down the proliferation of prostate cancer. To prove it, her name is listed among the student co-authors of two scientific papers Berkman published in September.

"It was an honor," Huang says. "I hope to publish my own scientific paper in the future."

She got her exciting opportunity through Project SEED (Summer Educational Experience for the Disadvan-taged), a national mentoring program sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS) for high school students who might not otherwise consider scientific careers.

"The study of science is not as mysterious as I thought after SEED," says Huang, who is considering continuing her studies at SFSU's College of Science and Engineering.

Her mentor, SFSU grad student Nichole Coleman, had a lot to do with changing Huang's perceptions.
Each night Coleman added several hours to her own school work, planning mini-lessons and demonstrations for Huang. She says it's her way of giving back.

More than a decade ago, Coleman herself enrolled in SEED as a high school student. "My interest in going to college started there. After SEED, I felt free to explore higher education and was not afraid to take a stab at it," says Coleman, who is now in the final stages of her SFSU master's thesis in chemistry.

At summer's end, Huang and her peers made final presentations to local ACS members.

Then they threw a party like a group of true scientists, whipping up a celebratory batch of ice cream lickety-split using liquid nitrogen.


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