Sumner Academy students enjoy Day of Science at KUEC
Two groups of lucky students from Sumner Academy of Arts & Science got to spend a day in the KU Edwards Campus Biotechnology Lab over two Fridays in January through a long-time partnership between the two schools. Randy Logan, program director of Biotechnology, and Jack Treml, assistant director of Biotechnology, challenged the students to a solve a mystery of contaminated drinking water that was causing residents in the fictitious Sutton Township to become sick. Three local industries had wastewater outflows into Sutton River and Mill Creek, the town’s natural water sources. By studying the flow of the rivers and streams and the locations of the companies, and then analyzing samples of water drawn from various spots, the students were able to determine the culprit.
“The goal of the activity is to illustrate how science can be helpful in solving problems,” Treml said, “and challenge the students to use critical thinking skills. Science is very useful but also fun.”
The students are part of the four-year Biomedical Pathway program offered by Sumner that allows students to explore and find solutions for some of today’s most pressing medical challenges, and opens the door to advancing their academics and envisioning careers in the medical field. Students also have the option of getting dual college credit for some classes.
Karl Gibson, Biomedical Pathway and science teacher at Sumner and a KU grad, has been partnering with Logan and Treml for four years to bring his students to Day of Science at KUEC. He says it’s always a highlight for his students, and he also brings them to the annual Biotech Days at Edwards Campus.
“The KU Edwards Campus always welcomes my students and treats them with respect,” Gibson said. “We visited KU Medical Center for first time last fall. They’ve learned a lot through the KU programs.”
Logan and Treml have been offering these lab experiences for the last five years to classes that are able to come to campus on selected Fridays.
Sumner Academy of Arts and Science is a magnet school with a very diverse student population. It prepares students for high-level academic and creative pursuits and is consistently ranked the #1 high school in Kansas by US News and World.