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26 BIG Ideas

The city's leaders in health, science, politics, food, and culture share their game-changing ideas for San Diego in 2016.


(page 24 of 26)

Let’s raise the next generation of groundbreaking scientists. 

Ellen Potter, Director of Educational Outreach, Salk Institute for Biological Studies

The Salk Institute is best known for its groundbreaking scientific research, but few know the prestigious organization has been bringing science to the masses for decades. Dr. Potter’s department runs several programs that expose kids to genetics and biotechnology, subjects San Diego schoolteachers have requested because they lack experience with them. One such program is a mobile science lab that travels to middle schools and provides a three-day curriculum. “We’re not teaching content as much as awareness,” says Potter, who’s met kids in San Ysidro who have no concept of where La Jolla is, nor any clue about the breakthrough science being done on the mesa. “We want to show them that this work is fun and you can have a career and it’s close to home,” she says. “We want them to look at science as something they can understand. That’s our real mission.” Salk recently invited 300 girls from the San Diego Unified School District for a Women in Biotech presentation. And this year, Salk will begin SciChats—Skype tours and talks between researchers and students—as well as video curriculum for teachers. Sounds like science just got a lot cooler. 

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