From Flint to East Lansing: Journey to the Lowry Lab

A total of 41 10th graders from Flint Southwestern Classical Academy attended a field trip to visit the Lowry Lab on the MSU Campus
May 31, 2024

On Friday, May 31st 2024, Health in Our Hands coordinated the first ever field trip to the Michigan State University (MSU) campus for high school students studying our curriculum.  The Mystery of the Monkey Flower is a 10 -12 week high school life science curriculum. High School students use a monkey flower plant experiment and a graphic novel developed to learn how traits evolve over time through natural selection. STEM careers and ethical issues are also highlighted. This field trip was requested by our High School Biology Teacher, Shelly Roberts with the Flint Community School District.

A total of 41 10th graders from Flint Southwestern Classical Academy, two Flint high school teachers, four GEAR UP staff (Central Michigan University & MSU), and five MSU staff/faculty were present for this field trip. With generous support from the Flint Center for Educational Excellence, these students traveled) to MSU to meet with Dr. David Lowry and others in the Plant Biology Building. Students had the opportunity to tour the Monkey Flower Lab which is part of the Lowry Lab on the MSU campus courtesy of Dr. David Lowry and Dr. Liz.

Additionally, an activity and presentation was coordinated through the Biological Laboratory Diagnostics Program by Academic Advisor Nicole Lipnichan. Nicole shared a presentation about the programs that her department offers and also engaged the students in testing for Diabetes in a patient in the ER. Some of the 10th graders remembered that they learned about diabetes in a Health in Our Hands unit taught online by their middle school teachers during the COVID pandemic.

Last but not least, lunch. Thank you to the Office of Culture and Academic Transitions (OCAT) on the MSU Campus for treating our students to lunch in Shaw Hall with funding from OCAT “Connecting Diverse Peoples, Programs, and Ideas to Enhance Student Success.”

The Mystery of the Monkey Flower is part of the Health in Our Hands Project. This work is supported financially by Michigan State University and grants from the National Science Foundation (105-1855927) and Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) National Institute of General Medical Sciences, a component of the National Institutes of Health
The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Learn more about the journey by visiting