Our High School Work Experience Program is designed for students in Years 10, 11 and 12 that have displayed a genuine interest and passion for health and medical research. This three-day program is conducted by our dedicated Youth Engagement Coordinator, whereby students get hands-on experience in a working medical research laboratory and learn the introductory skills of a scientist.
Students undertake a full tour of the Institute, visiting the multiple research groups throughout the building. They also have the opportunity to tour the Australian MRI-Linac facility for cancer treatment, located in the Institute’s research bunker within South West Sydney’s Cancer Therapy Centre at Liverpool Hospital.
Students complete an induction into the wet laboratory before learning the basic uses of a microscope and a scientific pipette, which is a lab tool commonly used in all experiments across chemistry, biology and medicine. Along with simple calculations and measurements, these skills are applied when they get to prepare and analyse their own cheek cells!
The skills learnt on Day 1 are put to use where students get to extract DNA from bacterial cells, cut it up into different sizes and analyse the DNA pieces on a gel using ultraviolet. This experiment is commonly used by researchers in the field of molecular biology, especially when manipulating DNA for cloning. Students also learn simple microbiological techniques of growing bacteria in nutrient cultures and on bacteriological media plates.
The final day of the program involves protein extractions from kidney and liver tissues where students use their newly taught skills to measure and calculate an unknown test sample. All students receive a certificate at the end of the program as recognition of completing their work experience at the Ingham Institute.