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Science Internship Night Inspires Students

Annually, Winsor offers a year-long Science Internship Program for upper school students, culminating in a poster presentation, panel discussion, and informational night in January. The program was designed for Winsor students to explore careers in medicine or research in a STEM-related field. The participants have the opportunity to learn from and work with scientists in the Longwood Medical community and the greater Boston area. Winsor’s science internship program began in 2000 under the leadership of former science faculty Ann O’Meara P’93. Ms. O’Meara mentored countless students through her long tenure at Winsor, forging connections with professors at Boston University, and advocating and opening doors for students with an interest in the sciences. There is now an endowed fund in her name to provide a stipend to current students who pursue the science internship program.

Class VI and Class VII students who are interested in the program apply to a panel of faculty members, having demonstrated an excitement for a future science field and acquired recommendation letters from their teachers to solidify their readiness for this rigorous program. Once accepted to the program, students will complete a 4- to 6- week full time internship during the summer months and continue to refine their research throughout the school year. On January 4, 2024 the 2023 participants presented their posters to Winsor faculty, students, and families in the Dining Hall. Julie Callanan, science faculty, described the event as a fantastic display of how real-world experience can shape student learning, particularly in the science field. 

In addition to being the finish line for those participating in the program, the Science Internship Night provided the Winsor community with an engaging learning opportunity for students on campus. Students enjoyed pizza and special treats as they explored the work of their classmates. Some students attended the night in order to decide if the program is something that they would be interested in applying for in the future. Emma Birdsong ’26 walked away from the event with a newfound appreciation for the internship program, stating “The students that had gone through the internships were very motivated and it was very clear through their presentations. I was really inspired by their work.” “My favorite project delved into how a child’s economic background impacts their reaction to award learning. Learning about this subject made me consider how I react to my own positive reinforcement. It was so cool to learn from another student and after attending, I am excited to take part in this program in the future,” said Virginia Choe ’27. A proud mentor of the program, Stuart H. Orkin, M. D. stated "I would just say it is amazing what the Winsor students are able to do during a summer internship. With proper mentoring, they are able to get involved in real science at the lab bench and contribute to projects.”

The Science Internship Night was a wonderful demonstration of the Winsor community joining together to celebrate the hard work and innovation of the Winsor science students. The firsthand inspiration for the younger grades ensures that future Winsor students will continue in Ms. O’Meara’s tradition of science exploration.