Eight undergraduates from the University of Chicago spent a day discovering MBL science last week, having “trekked” to Woods Hole with the UChicago Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (UCISTEM) program.

xxxx watch a green sea urchin release its gametes into seawater while visiting the MBL’s Cellular Dynamics Program on Tuesday, March 25. The students were visiting the MBL with the UChicago Careers in Science, Technology, and Mathematics Program.

University of Chicago undergraduates Sarah Kurtis (left) and Margaret Lee watch a green sea urchin release its gametes into seawater while visiting the MBL’s Cellular Dynamics Program on Tuesday, March 25. The students were visiting the MBL with the UChicago Careers in Science, Technology, and Mathematics Program.

The program helps UChicago students explore and prepare for a STEM-related career by providing opportunities such as workshops, internships, and trips or treks to STEM employers in industry and academia.

The MBL visitors included both science and humanities majors, with career interests ranging from neuroscience to marine biology, science writing to bioinspired design.

While at MBL, the students fertilized sea urchin eggs with guidance from scientists in the Cellular Dynamics Program; toured the Marine Resources Center and the National Xenopus Resource; learned about cephalopod camouflage, sea lamprey regeneration, and the Encyclopedia of Life; and discussed science journalism with Heather Goldstone, science editor at WCAI.

Later, they toured Woods Hole Science Aquarium and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where they also met a representative from Hydroid, Inc. An impeding blizzard precluded their planned visit to Woods Hole Research Center.

A student studies sea urchin eggs prior to fertilization.

A University of Chicago student studies sea urchin eggs prior to fertilizing them.

The visiting undergraduates were: Medha Biswas (Biology major), who is returning to the MBL this summer through a University of Chicago Metcalf Internship to work with UChicago neurobiologist and Whitman investigator William Green; Lyda Harris (Biological Science/Visual Art minor), Katalina Kimball-Linares (Biology), Sarah M. Kurtis (Biology), Margaret Lee (Chemistry), Tyler Lutz (Physics and English), Eliza Nieweglowska (Chemistry), and Lauren Vogel (English Language and Literature). They were accompanied by Andrea Dieckmann, senior associate director, University of Chicago Pre-Professional Programs and director, UCISTEM Program.