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Fifteen students and three science teachers from Evanston Township High School recently participated in a collaborative biology project at Northwestern University laboratories. The program, called “Biology Investigations in Reproduction & Development,” or NU-BIRD, was designed to give high school students interested in biology an opportunity to conduct science experiments alongside NU professors and students in a university setting.

NU-ETHS Partnership Coordinator Kristen Perkins said the Center for Reproductive Science at Northwestern approached her with an interest in creating an outreach program specifically for ETHS Biology Students. NU-BIRD was modeled after Northwestern’s “Oncofertility Saturday Academy” program started under the leadership of Dr. Teresa Woodruff.

The CRS team and Ms. Perkins partnered with ETHS science department chair Terri Sowa-Imbo and teachers to design a program that would “allow the content to come to life beyond the textbook into authentic science research experiences,” Ms. Sowa-Imbo explained. The team determined that students enrolled in the high school’s Advanced Placement biology courses would offer a diverse representation of ETHS students who would be best prepared for the research that Northwestern’s CRS faculty and students conduct in their labs, she said.

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