High School Programs

The Duax High School Intern Program

The Duax High School Intern Program is run annually and is typically run in person with two sessions of 30 students in each session. The Eleventh Annual Summer Workshop in Molecular Bioinformatics occurred in 2020 and was run virtually. A description of the program is given below with the 2020 material and application instructions so that details of the virtual program can be seen. Planning is going on for 2021 and details will be announced then when that planning is complete.

Details of the 2020 Program

The 2020 HWI Duax Summer Workshop will be held online from July 6 to July 24 from 9 AM to 1 PM five days a week. We can accommodate 60 students. Students who commit to attending the entire three weeks will be given preference.

Sessions will begin with the entire group at 9 AM for presentations and at 10 AM break into study groups lead by HWI team leaders.  The web accounts will be provided by HWI.  The program will culminate with students doing online presentations for the full cohort as well as interested members of the community.

First-time students must complete an application form with essay questions concerning their goals and motivations.  We have been accepting students from 7th to 12th grades and have not rejected anyone who completed the application. There are no other prerequisites. Students will be accepted into the program in the order their completed application is received. If more than 60 applications are received, it may not be possible to accommodate the overflow.

Description of Program

Training is computer-intensive. The students learn to use state of the art computer programs for amino and nucleic acid sequence analysis of the genomes of all bacteria and eukaryotes. The training includes the use of the most heavily used programs for biological analysis on the World Wide Web and a suite of unique programs developed in our laboratory for proteomic and genomic analysis. The students mine the data in the gene and protein banks of the world.

The four major goals of the research are to determine (1) the origin and evolution of the genetic code, (2) the order of evolution of all bacterial species, (3) the nature of the evolution of the sequence and function of families of proteins present in all species, and (4) the amino acid residues responsible for substrate specificity in families of enzymes.

The students are not replicating previous experiments for which the results are already known. They are conducting experiments that have never been done before, that challenge basic tenets of structural biology. In this way, students learn that genuine research demands flexibility, adaptability, creativity, and patience.

The students are given opportunities to present their research goals and results and their interpretation of their data to coworkers, classmates, laymen, and scientists.

The Roy Carver Foundation and donations from various supporters make the HWI Duax High School Program possible.  We thank them for their philanthropy.

  • There is an attendance fee of $100 for the 2020 school and this should be paid at the time of application. Fee waivers for students with demonstrated need are available.