Veteran Glen Rose high school teacher Doug Ogletree was selected for a summer program at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Ogletree applied in January for a chance to participate in the Summer Workshop for High School science educators. Only nine teachers were chosen throughout the state.
“I applied because I thought it would be technically oriented,” said Ogletree. “But I didn’t know what I was getting into.”
For two weeks in July, the 18-year teacher met with recent high school graduates and had a chance to explore cutting-edge laboratories.
“The first week we interviewed 26 students who were accepted into either the Cure or King Scholarship Research Foundations,” Ogletree said. “They were kids who just graduated high school and came from all over the state. They were helping doctor’s do research for cancer cures. Some were doing synthetic tissue research.”
Ogletree said the panel of teachers interviewed the students about the research they were doing.
“The coolest thing was the kids knew their projects and research regardless of their school background,” said Ogletree. “They weren’t reading from cards or reciting. They would look you in the eye and you could tell they knew their stuff.”
The second week of the workshop, Ogletree said the teachers became the students. They visited the School of Health Sciences at M.D. Anderson and were able to work in the labs.
Ogletree worked with equipment such as a FISH microscope, or florescent in situ hybridization. He also processed his own DNA with Polymearase Chain Reaction (PRC). The PRC copies DNA, analyzes it and identifies specific genes.
“We didn’t know this kind of stuff was out there,” said Ogletree.
He hopes to use what he has learned to help students become aware of the possibilities and opportunities that exist and to help them get started in the medical field.