- Sponsorship -

Sometimes, parents really do know best

Student develops passion for cell biology research in early college program


Gloria Baker says the Health Sciences Early College Academy, part of the offerings of Kent Career Tech Center, helped develop her passion for cell and molecular biology.

Baker, an East Grand Rapids High School senior, is now competing for a national level research scholarship with the help of faculty based at the program’s location: Grand Valley State University’s Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences downtown.

It all began with her parents’ insistence that she attend an open house for the program last year, says Baker. Although she was initially reluctant, she soon realized her passion for science and research could blossom at this specialized Tech Center program.

Russ Wallsteadt helps students dive into careers in science and medicine as an instructor at the Tech Center’s Health Sciences Early College Academy

“Once I visited the program, I fell in love with it,” said Baker, one of 27 area high school students enrolled in the Biomedical Technology section. Part of the appeal is working with like-minded students and instructors who help her explore her interest in plant science and medicine.

Baker is working on a full-length thesis about protein degradation in the Arabidopsis thaliana, a small flowering weed that is widely used as a model organism in plant biology. “Protein degradation happens in every living thing,” Baker explains.

“It’s fun and it’s challenging,” says Baker, adding that she will have about a year of college credits under her belt by the time she graduates. Her thesis will be entered in a scholarship competition with about 1,000 other students across the country.

Russell Wallsteadt, an instructor at the Health Sciences Academy, said Baker’s unique course of study is a good example of what the program offers to students who want to explore health careers.

Besides earning high school credit, students also earn free college credit for some of the Academy’s courses and are officially enrolled in either GVSU or Ferris State University. Students spend about 90 minutes a day at their downtown location or in combination with online instruction, says Wallsteadt.

The program also helps high school juniors and seniors gain confidence in their ability to study at a collegiate level, according to Wallsteadt.

The Health Sciences Early College Academy is available to any high school junior or senior in Kent ISD with a minimum 3.0 GPA and some math and science background. More information about the program can be found on the Tech Center’s website.

The Health Sciences Early College Academy is housed on the fourth floor of Grand Valley State University’s Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences

- Sponsorship -
James Harger
James Harger
James Harger left School News Network in January of 2020. James previously reported on West Michigan's economy, courts and politics for The Grand Rapids Press and Mlive.com for more than 37 years. He also is employed as Servanthood Leader at Immanuel Lutheran Church in downtown Grand Rapids. A graduate of Central Michigan University, he also has worked for publications in Holland, Mount Pleasant and Lansing. He is married to Lisa and has one daughter, who lives in Ann Arbor.

LATEST ARTICLES

Fourth-grade hockey fan gets a magical hour on ice: ‘I made the shot!’

Raised as a Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins hockey fan, Jackson Solow lights up while skating on an ice rink wearing his favorite hockey jersey...

‘This time it is continued learning’

One school’s switch from in-person to virtual education last week was nearly seamless, especially when compared with the forced school closure in March...

Foundation grants $28,285 in fall funding requests

Virtual phys ed and art experiences, materials to improve classroom focus and books on social issues aimed at middle-schoolers are among the grants approved this fall...

Latest school closings expand on state-ordered high school mandate

More Kent County districts continue to announce temporary school building closures, as schools contend with a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Kent County and Michigan...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Have cart, will travel

A Southeast Kelloggsville Elementary music teacher has a new cart for her ukuleles, thanks to her school, her husband and the Kent Career Tech Center...

KCTC and KTC Core students roll up their sleeves to help reduce water runoff at Kent ISD

The water from the Kent ISD area feeds into the Lamberton Creek watershed. The plants will aid in reducing the amount added to the creek...

Essential workers get high school diplomas thanks to state program

Futures for Frontliners offers free community college tuition to essential workers. The program also helps people earn a high-school GED...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS