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Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School
Boston 2020



Program Highlights

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TECHNOLOGY AND THE CITY

Students learn about the rich history and modern context of innovation in healthcare and technology within the greater Boston metropolitan area.


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A CRISPR NEW WORLD?

Gene-editing tools like CRISPR/Cas9 are rapidly advancing the potential of technology to change living organisms, including humans. We dive into the forefront of the debates on the ethical limits of these technologies.


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THE DISRUPTED: URBANIZATION AND TECH

We look at the ways that the benefits of economic development in the greater Boston area have been divided amongst the community members, focusing on how pressures in housing and transportation affect the life choices for a wide range of local citizens.



Itinerary

The below itinerary provides one projection of the daily schedule. Changes may be made to improve the program quality, based on the logistical and educational needs of enrolled students.

DAY 1: TRAVEL
ARRIVAL

Students depart from Atlanta for a short flight to Logan Airport, arriving in the late morning and transferring to our centrally located accommodations. We immediately move out to get a sense of Boston as a historic and vibrant metropolis, stopping on Boston Common for a welcome picnic and discussion of our focal areas of inquiry for the upcoming program.

DAY 2: TECHNOLOGY AND THE CITY
CAMBRIDGE

• Breakfast at Hotel
• Harvard and MIT Tours
• MIT Workshop on DNA and Protein Synthesis
• Lunch
• Kendall Square Innovation Hubs
• Dinner

We begin our day with explorations of two of the world’s ‘giants’ of research universities: Harvard and MIT, touring the campus and meeting with current graduate students working on a range of scientific pursuits. We move on to Kendall Square and the MIT Museum, where we engage in a workshop using LEGO pieces to learn about the molecular biology of DNA, RNA, and proteins, and how they are related. We conclude our day with a private tour of the Cambridge Innovation Center, home of some of the world’s most innovative companies.

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DAYS 3-4: THE FRONTIERS
CAMBRIDGE/WALTHAM

• Breakfast
• CRISPR Questions Workshop
• Lunch
• Researcher/Company rotations
• Debrief
• Dinner

We start off with a series of questions and protocols to help students become more aware of how to best realize the potential of an opportunity to meet with an organization “in the field”. We then break into groups to spend two days rotating between university and for-profit research centers engaged with biological and genomic research. Project focal points include companies working on transformative gene repair therapies for genetic neuromuscular diseases, blood cancers, and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Students engage directly with researchers about their current projects, the day-to-day of their jobs, and what they see as the potential applications of CRISPR and other technologies to the future world.

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DAY 5: INNER CITY PRESSURE
URBANIZATION ISSUES

• Breakfast at Hotel
• Travel Methods Workshop and Activity
• Lunch
• Meeting with local government and advocacy groups
• Dinner

We begin the day with a workshop considering methods for travel that are present in urban contexts and how access to these methods can serve as a limiting factor in social mobility. We then engage in a data-collection activity, moving through the city to see how access to transportation can serve as a social justice issue. We then meet with local advocacy groups and local planning officials to learn about historical trends and changes for Greater Boston, and how data is currently being used to improve transportation within Boston.

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DAY 6: ETHICAL ASPECTS
BOSTON

• Breakfast
• Organic Farm Visit
• Lunch
• Panel Discussion and Ethics Workshop
• Dinner
• Baseball Game

We start the day with a visit to a local organic farm, where we tour the grounds and discuss the benefits and costs of genetically modified foods. After lunch, we meet with representatives from environmental, religious, and social institutions for a panel discussion on the perspectives preaching hesitancy for genetic engineering. We close with a workshop and debate among students to bring out data-based opinions on the topics examined over the course of the week.

We close off the day with a final activity to get into the “spirit” of Boston–bleacher seats at a Red Sox game!

DAY 7: REFLECTION AND DEPARTURE
TRANSFER

• Breakfast
• Travel to Walden Pond
• Hike and Reflective Session
• Lunch
• Transfer to Airport
• Flight

We travel outside of Boston to Walden Pond, famed reflection site of the philosopher-naturalist Henry David Thoreau. We circumnavigate the pond, taking the time to think about the issues that we’ve grappled with and where we wish to go from here.

After a picnic lunch on the shores of Walden, we travel to Logan airport for our return flights home.


Dates

Students must register by December 15th, 2019.

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