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High schoolers learn about STEM careers on Illumina tour

On May 11, 2017, One San Diego teamed up with Illumina to provide an all-day STEM Career Connections event for over 175 San Diego high school students. These students were introduced to the various careers at Illumina and given the latest updates on genome sequencing technology.

The day started off with a performance by the Music Notes, a group of high school teachers who rapped about the importance of math and the human genome.

Illumina VP of Corporate Marketing & Communications Karen Possemato then welcomed the group to Illumina and summarized what the day would look like.

Multiple interactive stations were set up for the students, ranging in fields from forensics and oncology to pandemics. Students gained insight into genetics as they applied their classroom knowledge to real-world situations. They were led on a campus tour of Illumina, where the students got a first-hand look at genome sequencing labs, as well as where the technology manufacturing takes place.

Students were then led back to the amphitheater where City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer encouraged students to follow a STEM career path. Mayor Faulconer promoted working in San Diego, which is becoming an internationally renowned hub for biotechnology companies.

After a healthy lunch, the students got to listen and ask questions to a career panel of the various jobs at Illumina. From a researcher to a genetic counselor, and even the social media side of STEM, these students received expert advice from a powerful, female-dominated panel.

CONNECT2Careers and the Life Sciences Summer Institute were in attendance, encouraging students to search for opportunities and mentors, while getting the valuable hands-on experience they need to be successful in a STEM career.