Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) offers internships for upcoming juniors and seniors who are interested in food sustainability and food security through ISB’s Project Feed 1010 (PF1010). Developed to diversify and strengthen the environmental research field, as well as provide skills training and authentic research experiences for students, the ambassador program empowers students to solve a complex, real-world problem: food insecurity. Since 2016, this year-long program has cultivated and supported 3 cohorts of 36 total high school students from the Puget Sound region in Washington state, as they become leaders in Environmental Education (EE). Through this opportunity, students were trained during the summer through hands-on, real world experiences at ISB to tackle the global food security crisis and then supported as they developed and implemented a plan to integrate their newfound knowledge into their schools and community centers. To date, this program has provided ~200 hours of interdisciplinary EE focusing on sustainable agriculture, food security, aquaponics, systems biology and career exploration.
Job opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields are rapidly expanding! Gaining real-world experience in systems biology and sustainable agriculture expands character skills essential for effective personal and professional communication as well as problem solving skills crucial to innovation and discovery in the future.
Students applying for this program should be excited to be an ambassador and enact positive change in their communities, be a curious and responsible self-starter, and be interested in maintaining a collaborative relationship with the PF1010 team beyond the summer internship. Applications will be accepted from upcoming junior and senior students and preference will be given to students who would be willing to work with an applicant from the same school throughout the following school year as they implement PF1010 into their communities.
“After Project Feed 1010, I connected with other students at my school to set up a functioning aquaponics system in the greenhouse, where we successfully grew several bean varieties. My experiences troubleshooting the aquaponics systems over the summer and the following school year helped me become more confident with my own engineering skills and strengthened my ability to take initiative to solve problems. In addition, the skills I gained working in the lab to process samples prepared me for working in a lab the next summer, where I immediately recognized some of the procedures and techniques; I had already passed the learning curve, and had a strong foundation to grow from.” – 2017 PF1010 Ambassador Maddy Scott
“Project Feed 1010 gave me exposure to interdisciplinary research. Since the program, I have gone on to intern at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, combining my computer science skill set with atmospheric spectroscopy and interdisciplinary planetary science research.” – 2016 PF1010 Ambassador Laura Hu
“After Project Feed 1010, I had the opportunity to work in a lab at the VA Hospital in Seattle doing Alzheimer’s research on C.elegan models. While at the lab, I was able to present my research to other members of the lab. Thanks to the scientific posters that we made for the showcase, I felt confident in my abilities to present and explain my research in front of seasoned researchers. Project Feed 1010 gave me the essential skills I needed to be an effective scientist in both a lab and in my community.” – 2017 PF1010 Ambassador Grace Scuderi
“PF1010 definitely made me more aware of the issue of food security around the world. The project made me really glad to have chosen a globally-focused major, and made me want to focus more on the environment in relation to health when it comes to a potential career.” 2017 PF1010 Ambassador Alex Haworth
“It was a collaborative experience that taught me a lot and gave me tools to revolutionize my community.”
“This internship shows what happens when people in different fields work together to tackle a global issue.”
“I enjoyed making so many connections, and the support that I was offered in helping me integrate my plan into my school was great!”
“I learned so much about sustainable agriculture and how it positively impacts our environment. The greatest benefit was being able to network with the urban farmers from Microsoft who are working with aquaponics and hydroponics.”