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