"ABE was my only encounter with hands-on activities in science class which allowed me to actually experience the science and personally relate to the lessons."
From an early age Randall Chin knew he wanted to pursue a scientific career. Advanced Placement biology was his favorite subject. But, he wasn’t sure what his dream job was until he participated in ABE. Chin found ABE’s hands-on labs exciting, ultimately helping him realize he wanted to be a research scientist.
With ABE under his belt, Chin—now familiar with cutting-edge lab equipment—wanted to understand the daily demands of life on the research bench. He applied and was accepted to participate in the Amgen Scholars Program (ASP), an undergraduate summer research program and a separate philanthropic program of the Amgen Foundation. With ASP, Chin spent a summer during his undergraduate studies working in a lab on the University of California at San Francisco campus. He considered ASP the best ‘scientist boot camp,’ giving him confidence and discipline to not only earn his Ph.D. but to mentor undergrads in the lab as well.
What did you enjoy most about ABE?
ABE applied science to real-life situations, making it that much more interesting. It showed me lab work could be fun, and I really enjoyed doing it.
What was your favorite subject in school?
Biology. That’s also where I discovered my passion for science. Everything was just so interesting to me, especially why organisms age.
Talk about the hands-on lab experience. Did you feel like a real scientist? How did ABE compare to your experience in other science classes you’d taken?
ABE was my only encounter with hands-on activities in science class which allowed me to actually experience the science and personally relate to the lessons. My other classes had demonstrations conducted by teachers, but that’s it.
Did ABE help you look at science in a new way? Did you have a sort of ‘ah-ha’ moment during the labs? Tell me about it.
I had a greater appreciation for science after ABE. It made me realize that I really enjoyed working in a lab and wanted to be a researcher.
What was your biggest takeaway from ABE?
Thanks to ABE and ASP, I realize the importance of making these types of programs available to students. So far I’ve mentored 7 undergrads and hope to continue inspiring more students in my own lab one day.