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St. Matthew's Science Olympiad Team Makes Its First Trip to Ochsner’s iLab

(December 13, 2010) When students from St. Matthew the Apostle were asked, “So, do you want to be in CSI one day?” they eagerly responded, “Yes!” “Maybe!” “No, I want to work here!” Twenty-three students from St. Matthew the Apostle Elementary School joined Academic Outreach for a morning of DNA experimentation in the iLab. Several of the students who attended were members of their school’s Science Olympiad Team, a driven group of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who excel in the sciences.

Their science teacher, Crissy Giacona, enthusiastically reported: “What an amazing experience for the students. I believe in teaching by using hands-on experiments in my classroom because students learn best when they are allowed to experience the outcome of the experiment. The experiment at the iLab reinforced the DNA molecule and showed how it is used in the real world. When we returned to school, the students were very excited to share what they had learned at the iLab at Ochsner Hospital.”

“This group of students did a great job,” explained Basic Sciences Research Technician Neill Aguiluz. “They were well prepared, ultra-engaged, and full of thoughtful questions. It's always a pleasure to work with kids who can take what we're doing in the iLab seriously but have fun at the same time. The biggest advantage I hope they gain from their experience is to better understand biological research in general and that what they're learning in school today really does have practical applications.”

Academic Outreach thanks St. Matthew the Apostle for their participation in our field trip program and looks forward to working with them again in the future.

Academic Outreach serves the community and maintains Ochsner’s position as a national academic leader by supporting educational development, providing unique academic resources, and connecting students and teachers with innovative academic opportunities. 


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St. Matthew students are thrilled to be experimenting in our iLab!


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Members of the Science Olympiad Tearm are ready to experiment.

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Science Olympiad Team poses for a picture with Dr. Jawed Alam and their teacher, Crissy Giacona. 


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A few classmates marvel over their group's experiment.


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