The Masconomet High School Psychology Club had an opportunity to visit the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last month to learn about the innovative work being done in the field.
On Friday, Dec. 16, 28 seniors in the club traveled to the Broad Institute and the Koch Galleries at MIT to learn more about those organizations’ work on Alzheimer’s Disease and Schizophrenia, and chemo-resistant cancer, respectively.
Both the Broad Institute and MIT are doing cutting-edge work in the field of psychology, and students had the opportunity to see research psychology being put into practice as they toured the labs, spoke to researchers and attended graduate student lectures.
“It was very inspiring for students to see what they learn in our classroom in action. Some of this stuff is years away from being applied, but it’s exciting to be part of the process,” psychology teacher Brian Mintz said.
Students observed the work researchers are doing to study schizophrenia in mice by mimicking neurological issues, which allows them to work toward developing effective medications.
During the visit, students also learned about experiments exploring how organisms as small as a pencil eraser are able to learn.
“What I liked about this field trip was that there was a huge variety of experiences all day,” senior Taylor Carmody said. “My favorite experience was going into the labs where the scientists were working. One of the scientists was really focused on talking about career experiences and taking questions. I was really inspired by her to go into the field! It was great to get that exposure.”
According to Mintz, a number of psychology students are pursuing it from a medical perspective and the visit afforded them the opportunity to see the variety of ways psychology can be put to use and to determine what interests them most.
Future trips will include visits to the Gross Anatomy Lab at Boston University Medical School and to Harvard’s Adolescent Neuroscience Center.