One-of-a-Kind Program Links High School Students with Univesity Scientists
Shiv Sharma will be looking at tumour antigen expression on breast cancer cells at Robarts Research Institute this fall. He’s not a graduate student or a postdoc. Sharma is in grade 12 and is getting exposure to real-world medical research at Robarts as part of a program called Partners in Experiential Learning, or PEL.
PEL is based in London and is the only program of its kind in Canada. It links high school students with research supervisors in the medical sciences as part of a cooperative education opportunity. Students gain hands-on lab experience, while at the same time earning credits toward their high school degrees.
“I am doing something that my peers don’t have the opportunity to do, that in itself is pretty cool,” said Sharma. “And that fact that I am able to delve into these experiences rather than reading a textbook or copying notes down, really helps to see how things really work.”