User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


37° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.

KELOLAND.com | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

High School Researcher

February 21, 2012, 10:07 PM by Nicole Winters

High School Researcher
SIOUX FALLS, SD - While there are many extremely intelligent high school students, it takes a special student to be able to take on high school, college and an intense internship all at the same time.

One Sioux Falls senior is doing just that. She's not only excelling in her education, but she's also getting a jump in a possible future career by working alongside a Sanford researcher.

The human body and its system is a fascination for Beth Farnsworth.

"We're learning every part of the brain and we're going to learn all of the guts and spinal cord," Farnsworth said.

The high school senior is learning all she can from a specialized BioMed class at CTE.

"We focus on the anatomy of the body just like traditional anatomy class will, but then try to tie in more of the functions and more on what can go wrong with the human body so that we can eventually one day work to fix some of those problems," teacher Allison Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson teaches some of the BioMed classes. There's four levels to the program. But the school has only been in existence for two years, stopping Farnsworth from reaching the highest level, which would allow her to work alongside an area researcher.

"She approached me, actually, and said, 'I'm a senior. I know I can't take the next class. Is there anyway I could have that experience before I leave high school?'" Hutchinson said.

Farnsworth, being an exceptional student taking both high school and college classes, was allowed to take on a position interning alongside Dr. Haotian Zhao in the Sanford Research Center.

"Beth is helping me do a little project. She's generating some twos for the lab. The one she's working on is generating DNA-size standard to figure out the size of a piece of DNA," Zhao said.

"Gel electrophoresis, where you kind of see DNA fingerprinting, there's always a first column like a ruler of what each size is. So you're going to have the first column, which has one, two or three depending on if they're hetero or homo. So that first column is a DNA standard marker column, so that's what I'm making so I have to make each band separately. Then at the end, I'll put it all together," Farnsworth said.

It's a more complicated process than simple school work, but Farnsworth seems to understand it just fine.

"DNA fingerprinting, even parental tests, it's how you tell, like, would we be related. Or is my mother and I related? You need to have something to measure it on and how long the piece is," Farnsworth said.

Farnsworth collaborates with Zhao, a first for her working with a researcher and a first for him working with a high school student.

"In my impression, Beth is more mature. I don't have any difficulties communicating with her what I want," Zhao said.

Farnsworth works in the lab four days a week. Right now, she's learning about DNA, but in the future, she may even learn about brain cancer.

"My research is primarily involved in brain cancer research in pediatric patients. Beth hasn't touched that part yet, but in the future, she's going to be exposed to that," Zhao said.

It's experience many don't see until grad school.

"When I read her blog every week about all the things she's doing and how it ties to the greater picture of science and research, it's just really exciting to see," Hutchinson said.

Farnsworth is hoping her early start in science will help her reach her goals, which includes earning a doctorate and a medical degree.

"I love to work with special needs. So, if I can help that, not necessarily cure it, but help prevent some of the symptoms, help progression of the diseases that's my dream," Farnsworth said.

And while not everyone as young as Farnsworth is ready to jump into a lab, Zhao says it's critical to the future of science and medicine that those who have the motivation and focus give it a shot.

"We're hoping young people will get interested in our field of research and keep this thing going strong, especially in Sioux Falls," Zhao said.

Farnsworth says she has family and friends with disabilities and illnesses. That, too, has made her interested in science and medicine and has given her the motivation to keep learning.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
A grammatical error was corrected in this story.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View featured stories

You may also like

Trooper Steen's Road To Recovery

4/14/2014 10:11 PM

In uniform and behind the wheel, South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Andrew Steen has returned to the job he left 18 months ago after he was seriously...

Full Story | Watch
Ziolkowski Fights Cancer & Reflects On Crazy Horse Legacy

4/10/2014 9:58 PM

Ruth Ziolkowski has led operations at the Crazy Horse Memorial since 1982, but now the 87-year-old says she only has a short time to live as she battl...

Full Story | Watch
Inside KELOLAND: What's Next For Sioux Falls?

4/13/2014 2:30 PM

Following decades of debate, the city of Sioux Falls is one step closer to an indoor pool. But there's still a lot of work that needs to be done b...

Full Story | Watch
Ice Storm Anniversary

4/11/2014 10:00 PM

One year ago, Sioux Falls experienced one of the worst natural disasters it's ever seen.  A devastating ice storm hit the city and it took mo...

Full Story | Watch
North Rapid Residents Fight Community's Bad Rap

4/9/2014 10:04 PM

Hard news happens in North Rapid City.  It doesn't get much harder than the 2011 shootout that left two city police officers dead, a third se...

Full Story | Watch


Events

 
 
KELOLAND TV: 501 S. Phillips Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Phone: 605.336.1100 · Breaking News call: 1-800-888-5356
Web Site Design and Custom Programming By: Lawrence & Schiller© 2014 KELO-TV -- KELOLAND.COM -- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED