Scientific Mystery Night Features Leading Pediatric Researchers

An audience of nearly 100 TPS parents and students of all ages attended last night's Scientific Mystery Night, organized by 7th grade teacher Virginia Friedman and Chris Gantz, Program Director of Clinical Research Support Office at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). 

Three leading CHOP pediatric researchers led a discussion on how today's breakthroughs in medical research are tomorrow's treatments. Speakers included Dr. Dennis Durbin, Director of Office of Clinical and Translational Research; Dr. Brenda Banwell, Chief of the Division of Neurology; and Dr. Paul Offit, Director of the Vaccine Education Center.

Highlights of the evening were research poster displays by Penn graduate students and by our very own 7th graders. And while all of our guest speakers are prominent pediatric researchers, one of them – Paul Offit – has been described as "a rock star" by one of our 8th graders, who has read all of his books. 

Paul Offit speaks to 8th graders after his presentation.

Paul Offit speaks to 8th graders after his presentation.

It was a terrific evening. Attendees were a true community of learners – with teachers, parents, and students leaning together about a compelling topic. We look forward to more evenings like this, as well as to a continued partnership with CHOP. Later this month, middle schoolers in the Behind-the-Scenes Research mini-course will connect with an ongoing project at the Center for Autism Research (CAR), where they will run through selected experiments and work with professionals with a variety of backgrounds, including psychology, computer science, public relations, and law.