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The Wistar Institute, in West Philadelphia, has registered a first-of-its-kind, non-traditional apprenticeship program in bio-medical research. It’s helping to diversify a field where women and minorities have been under-represented. It’s an old-fashioned concept, but Wistar Academic Affairs Director William Wunner says the apprenticeship will teach skills for the workforce of the future. “The ability to facilitate experimental procedures, manage a laboratory, monitor lab safety, conduct data analysis on experiments,” Wunner said. It grows out of a training program he started 17 years ago with Community College of Philadelphia.

College Snapshots

More than 110 Philadelphia high school students visited the College in April to participate in Big Bang STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Math) Career Day. Students from Kensington High School for Creative and Performing Arts; the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts; Parkway Northwest High School for Peace and Social Justice; Universal Audenreid Charter High School;, Kensington Urban; MaST Community Charter School; Franklin Learning Center; First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School  and Kensington Health Sciences Academy spent their afternoon exploring Community College of Philadelphia’s STEM programs, and learning all about the various career paths available to them. For Muhammad Halter, a junior at Kensington Health Sciences, this was his first visit to a college campus. “I wanted to come here, see a community college, and see where I could go,” he said. High school freshmen, sophomores and juniors also enjoyed interactive activities such as “BYOD” Bring Your Own Device, which allowed them to use cell phones and tablets to participate in live polls. They also visited classrooms where they participated in delicious experiments such as learning to make chocolate that melts in your mouth.

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