Sunday, March 30, 2008

CTY Odyssey Day at UConn

TJ recently was accepted into the Center for Talented Youth program run by Johns Hopkins University and yesterday he got to attend his first event, which was an Odyssey Series program being held at the University of Connecticut and sponsored by the university's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. It was a very impressive program. About 100 students in grades 7-10 attended. There were some full group sessions and then three small (10-20 student) sessions, where each student got to choose from one of about eight difference choices. TJ's choices were to attend the following sessions:

1) A rule to trick Arithemetic where the students all learned about modular arithmetic, how 7 +27 can equal 10, and how one can use modular arithmetic to predict missing numbers off of UPC labels.

2) Chemistry is Fun where the students tried out various chemistry experiments and then enjoyed "instant ice crean" made by the professor from cream, half and half and liquid nitrogen.

and his favorite:

3) Podcasting, What Why and How where the students were introduced to podcasting and got to help make their own podcast which you can listen to here.

For me, I found one of the keynote speeches very intruiging. It was a talk by Dr. Rachel O'Neill entitled Unlocking the Secrets of the Human Genome. She dicussed the emerging field of genomics, which is taking the results of the recent work to map the human genome and using that information to better understand the workings of the human body. She decribed one recent case from 2005 where researchers were able to create a modified version of the HIV virus which they were able to use to attack and destroy cancerous melanoma cells. While I certainly don't have the background to understand the science behind this, I find it very exciting that there seems to be so much progress in this field. Hopefully, this field of science can lead to some new treatments and potentially even cures for genetic diseases such as Polycystic Kidney Disease.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

TJ it was great hearing your voice from your visit to U. Conn.
I am so happy to see you share your feelings about PKD. I am sure others, reading how you handle living in a family with PKD, will be inspired to help fund research. I am very proud of you.