KEYS (Keep Engaging Youth in Science) offers a unique summer opportunity for motivated high school students with a strong interest in bioscience or biomedical science.
The 7 week, 40 hour per week program includes:
- 1 week for formal training in bioscience techniques and science communication
- 6 weeks of research in a UA faculty members laboratory
- 3 college level credits
- A presentation at KEYS Research Showcase
Herrera admits she was a little intimidated by the thought of applying to the internship. “There were over a 150 applicants to this year’s internship, and they only picked 36 of us.” The state wide program’s application process is competitive. When asked about how Palo Verde prepared her for this experience Herrera stated, “I definitely got a lot of support from my science teachers. They were encouraging me to go for it. The basic knowledge the skills I learned from my science classes were really useful.” Herrera encourages other students to take advantage of this opportunity calling it an “awesome experience” and “it gives you an opportunity to see if you like doing research or not.”
Herrera’s research evaluated the walking patterns of healthy subjects. Specifically, Herrera compared walking characteristics, referred to as gait parameters, while a subject was walking over-ground to that of the same subject walking on a treadmill. Multiple subjects were evaluated using a variety of assessment tools including a LEGsys (Locomotion Evaluation and Gait System). Herrera was attempting to validate the use of treadmills in clinical walking assessments. Herrera discovered of the variables she examined that only the cadence of subjects was significantly different. This research can be utilized by professionals across the country to evaluate the legitimacy of the method in which they conduct their patients’ assessment.
Herrera explains to attendees the research she conducted over the 7 week program
Herrera is entering her junior year at Palo Verde High Magnet School. She has aspirations of pressuring a career in biomedical engineering and continuing to be involved in research. Though she has plenty of time to decide of her future she believes she will likely attend the University of Arizona following her graduation.
The poster presentation yielded over 300 attendees including parents, students, professors, and professionals