Learn About Cancer Day Hero

K-12 Training & Education Opportunities

CRTEC is devoted to training the next generation of researchers and scientist clinicians. Research shows that student career aspirations begin to form during secondary school and extracurricular science experiences have a strong formative impact on student interest in science and the development of a science identity. This can impact students’ future career goals. As such, CRTEC strives to develop partnerships and programs that provide real-world experiences and exposure for students in the field of cancer research.

Some of the programs facilitated or supported by CRTEC include Learn About Cancer Day, Cancer Center Research Rangers (C2R2), Cancer Center Student Symposium (C2S2), and the Emerging Cancer Research Scientist Program. We also have a partnership with the staff and students at the STEM school located adjacent to the Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora Science and Technology (AST), to provide guest speakers and science sessions for their after-school programming and serve on their advisory board.

For more information on any of our programming or to sign up to participate, please fill out the interest form.

BEST: Bioscience Educator Support and Training Program

The BEST program builds a partnership between the CU – AMC and local teachers to transform bioscience education, foster a greater understanding of biomedical science in our community, and support CU – AMC trainees interested in teaching.

Through the BEST program, secondary science teachers:

  1. participate in high – quality professional development to learn exciting and engaging bioscience labs and activities to implement in their classrooms,
  2. access the Bioscience Lending Library which provides equipment, lesson plans, and free materials needed to implement the BEST lessons,
  3. gain confidence implementing the BEST lessons with students as they receive one-on-one mentoring with CU – AMC scientists,
  4. and develop relationships with CU – AMC scientists and other bioscience educators through the BEST Teacher Network.
  5. In addition, teachers receive 30 hours of professional development and continuing education units that can be used towards their relicensure requirement with the Colorado Department of Education.

Interested in Participating in BEST or Want to Stay Informed?

Click Here

BEST is funded by a Timmerhaus Ambassadors Fund grant and the CRTEC office.


Learn About Cancer Day is a day-long seminar that includes tours of a cancer-related research laboratories at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus combined with a cancer-focused activity and a career panel. The event serves high school students from the metropolitan Denver area. Learn About Cancer Day is offered to high school students interested in future careers in biomedical sciences and is offered twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring.

The goal of Learn About Cancer Day is to ignite students' interest in biomedical fields, specifically cancer-related research, and to increase community awareness of the University of Colorado Cancer Center's capabilities as a research and therapeutic center.

If you are interested in bringing a group of students to a Learn About Cancer Day event, contact us at the Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination Office: CRTEC@CUAnschutz.edu

Faculty Sponsor: John Tentler, PhD

The C2R2 Cancer Center Research Rangers program is an exploratory program for local middle school students to come to the CU Anschutz Campus to learn more about cancer research and the biomedical sciences through interactive programming and laboratory investigations. In addition, our programming includes important education related to cancer prevention and screening and the harmful effects of tobacco use.

CRTEC organizes and facilitates monthly symposiums during the fall and spring semesters where our Cancer Center members and trainees give talks about their research or on important science-related topics for local high school students and teachers.

These one-hour after-school presentations are held in a virtual format with a Q & A session during the last 15 minutes.

CRTRECOnce a year, CRTEC recognizes an outstanding emerging young scientist or team of young scientists (high school or undergraduate) that have performed cancer-related research. The student(s) is/are invited to CU-Anschutz Medical Campus to attend a Cancer Center Symposium, meet with the visiting scientists and graduate students, and tour a cancer research laboratory.

The 2024 Emerging Cancer Scientist team is awarded to Elsa Swanson, Bently Glauser, and Hansika Lakkireddy from Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) in Douglas County School District. Mentored by AMC graduate student Jared Williams and using the biotechnology laboratory at their high school, this team of high school juniors investigated the effects of a Deferoxamine Mesylate Salt on Mammary Gland Carcinoma cells in culture.

Elsa, Bently, and Hansika’s experiment was not without challenges. Performing cell culture in a high school laboratory is challenging to learn but with the expert mentorship and guidance of Jared Williams, this team thrived and was able to generate interesting and statistically significant data.

HS-BReM: High School Biotechnology Research Mentoring Program

The HS-BReM program is a partnership the CRTEC office has developed with the Rock Canyon High School Biotechnology Research program where graduate students and postdoctoral trainees mentor a team of high school student researchers conducting cancer research in their high school biotechnology laboratory. CU Anschutz trainees support and mentor their student teams throughout the year as they develop and conduct their research projects.

Prior to starting their research, student teams design their project and write a full research proposal which they present and defend for approval. Next, they learn the skills and techniques needed to conduct their research. Following completion of their research projects, they present their research at the RCHS Biotechnology Research Symposium and write a full journal article which they publish in the RCHS Journal of Biotechnology.

Their CU Anschutz research mentors join them on this journey of discovery of the joys of scientific research and help them develop a passion and interest in pursuing a future career in biomedical research.

If you are interested in becoming a HS-BReM future scientist mentor, please contact us at CRTEC@cuanschutz.edu.

This Year's HS-BReM Scholars

Katy, Emma and Erin

Mentor: Dr. Emily Meyer, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow and Senior Instructor, Department of Biomedical Informatics

Project: The Effects of Hesperetin on Cell Viability of Caco-2 Cells

Website: Flavinoid Fangirls

Bently, Elsa, and Hansika

Mentor: Jared Williams, Cancer Biology Graduate Student

Project: Effect of Deferoxamine Mesylate Salt on Growth Patterns and Cell Viability of EO771 Mammary Gland Carcinoma Associated with C57BL/6 Mice

Website: Tumor Titans Blog

Other Associated K-12 Educational Programs

In addition to the CRTEC developed and facilitated educational programming, cancer center members are involved in other K-12 educational outreach programming including CU Science Discovery, eCLOSE, and Think Like a Scientist.

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