Early Lab Education: ARUP Is Helping Kids Learn

Student laboratorian at JA City
January 15, 2019

Student laboratorian Ashton Jensen uses a tablet to view fictional microbes while trying the lab technologist role in a town of careers, Junior Achievement City. Pictured behind him is Martha Bale, VP, director of Technical Operations, ARUP.


“That’s some good-lookin’ blood,” Elliott Lee drawls in a training video as a spattered pink array of microscopically enlarged blood cells hovers on the screen. The son of ARUP Laboratories recruiter Nancy Lee, he brings acting chops (and Bill Nye the Science Guy-style) to the video, produced for student “laboratorians,” at ARUP’s new Junior Achievement City (JA City) minilab kiosk at Salt Lake City’s Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum.

Visitors to the kiosk watch as a slide appears on the microscope and Lee directs, “Now get out there and find some microbes!”

Student laboratorians do just that: They find “germs” in this fictional city where kids can explore various careers. They’ll return to the ARUP kiosk to stain slides, then view those slides on a microscope.

Sciences keep everybody healthy and happy, and they’re also a really good gateway to great jobs.

Andy Theurer, ARUP president

With 19,000 students each year spending a day in a “job” at JA City, ARUP sees the kiosk as a way to start science outreach and increase awareness of laboratory medicine at an early age. “Sciences keep everybody healthy and happy, and they’re also a really good gateway to great jobs,” ARUP President Andy Theurer said as he joined student laboratorian Ashton Jensen on Jan. 11 to cut the ribbon on the kiosk. 

ARUP lab demonstration kiosk at Junior Achievement City

Around 100 students a day spend a "work day" trying out a job role at Junior Achievement City. In ARUP's kiosk there, a student laboratorian can stain slides and look at them under a microscope, among other tasks.

Elliott Lee made the video during his summer 2018 internship in ARUP’s Human Resources Department. He also helped conceptualize ARUP’s kiosk at JA City.

Blood Smear Microscopic Image

An image like this microscopic blood smear appears on the video monitor in ARUP's lab kiosk at Junior Achievement City.

Come see the video and kiosk sometime with a budding scientist, or take a look at our local press coverage here.

Read here about how ARUP's Bioinformatics program encourages older students, too.

Catherine Arnold, Science Communications Writer

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