HLFS Ursprung - Ursprungstraße 4 - 5161 Elixhausen - schule@ursprung.lebensministerium.at
7. Statements
This year’s project in the elective course GBT once again more than ever had its finger on the pulse of time. Alzheimer’s disease is without a doubt one of the scourges of the modern western world. The tragic fate of the ever-growing number of people who suffer from it asks the question of how to appropriately deal with the disease and its consequences as a society. As a result, the desire for basic biomedical research on the topic is intensifying. This includesthe need to quickly discover the molecular basis for the pathological changes in the brain in order to make the discovery of medical approaches possible. A group of highly motivated students at the HLFS Ursprung had the opportunity to go in search of the molecular and societal facets of the diseaseand to bring them to light. The results were astounding. The extent to which the learning process occurred independently impressed not only the project leader and the other supervisors, but also everyone involved. This project demonstrated the commitment of the researchers of tomorrow to the challenges of the future. This is how I imagine modern education and modern transfer of knowledge.
I really enjoyed this project as a whole. I learned a ridiculous amount, including very important things about dealing with Alzheimer’s patients. Naturally, the work in the laboratory was a one-of-a-kind and very exciting experience. The moment that moved me most personally occurred during the visit to the geriatric ward: We joined in on a women’s circle and got into a discussion. While the four women told us the experiences and impressions of their youth, I realized, that people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease live “from one moment to the next.” They happily told us about their past, because their long-term memory often isn’t affected, but they LIVE in the present. During a debriefing session with the responsible supervisor, I found out that I was correct in noticing this. Elisabeth Müllner, the head nurse of this ward, told us that the patients are often overjoyed by little things such as board games and walks, and that they also enjoy getting visitors. In the future, I will personally try to concentrate more on the moment and not always get carried away with my hectic environment.
I especially enjoyed the work on this team. Each person was able to contribute his abilities to achieve a common goal. Since we were dealing with people, it was good that we complemented each other with our different approaches. Learning to work together in this way strikes me as very valuable. It promotes human qualities that are certainly important for most professions.
What I enjoyed most about this project was that we were allowed to work independently in the lab and that we were also entrusted with all of the equipment. But it wasn’t just the lab that I enjoyed. I also liked visiting the University Clinic for Geriatrics. I believe, that I learned a lot of things from this project that I will be able to use later in life, especially the tips on how to deal with people with Alzheimer’s disease.
For me personally, this entire project was totally informative and a ton of fun. In my opinion, knowing how to deal with elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t get enough support. I think that it’s great that we did this and dealt extensively with it. When we were in Kuchl and I saw the elderly lady with the stuffed dog, it became clear to me how much people who suffer from advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease live in their own world and how they can be happy there. I was moved and also fascinated when the lady told us about her dog, Rolfi, as though he were real, because I had never had such direct contact with people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. I also liked the great teamwork: everybody helped each other, and we were all there for each other. On the whole, I am overjoyed that I was able to take part in this great project. I also learned a lot of things that I will be able to use in the future, which I’m happy about.
Super project. It was really a lot of fun to shake the laboratory world and to operate high tech equipment in the research team. From our stop at the nursing home, I learned how to deal with people in ‘the older league’ and overcame my shyness to speak with them. During the project, I learned more about the disease, much about laboratory technics, and, by and large, a lot for my life: it was a great experience.
I was really impressed by our project, ‚Understanding Dementia – Youth and Alzheimer’s’ and had a lot of fun. We grew together as a team and it is really unbelievable to have been able to contribute. For me, it was a special experience to learn how to deal with a person suffering from Alzheimer’s. The insight into the lives of these people had a big impression on me. I thought that the visit to the nursing home and the geriatric ward was especially interesting and fascinating, because we were directly confronted with these people and could have conversations with them. I will take these experiences with me throughout my entire life, because Alzheimer’s will certainly become more ‘interesting’ in the future, because it will affect more people.
The project was a new and totally academically enriching experience for me, because I had never had directly dealt with the Alzheimer’s disease before. It was really cool that we could not only work in the lab and analyze the results, but that we also learned how to deal with the elderly and put it to practice in a workshop and at the geriatric ward. The work was really exciting and interesting. I thought it was also super that everyone helped our team really well.
The topic of Alzheimer’s fascinates me, because it affects so many people, but very little is actually known about the disease. I think that we should also learn about dementia in regular school lessons, because it could also affect our relatives and us one day. Learning how to deal with afflicted people helped me a lot. I think that I am now well prepared, should someone in my family get the disease. Of course, the lab part of the project fascinated me as well. Even some students don’t have the chance to apply the kind of technology that we did. The project gave me skills I can use for the rest of my life and it was also a lot of fun.
When we decided upon a topic for our project, I couldn’t really imagine what it would be like. At this time, the word ‘Alzheimer’ meant for me, as well as for most people my age: ‘Some kind of disease where people forget everything.’ However, after the valuable experiences in the lab and the contact with patients, I now know that Alzheimer’s is the disease of the future that cannot be dealt with soon enough. The most moving moment for me was the visit in the nursing home, where there was nothing better for the elderly than simply being listened to. I was especially impressed by how quickly our team grew together and everything that we accomplished.
What I personally found amazing were the visits to the nursing home in Kuchl (with the carolers) and to the geriatric ward. I was astounded by how easy it was to make these people happy. What we take for granted can often be something special for many people with disabilities. What might be a ‘normal day’ for us can often be a highlight for them. It was a pleasure to be able to take part in this project.
Magdalena G.:
I was most moved by the work in the laboratory. I was great to gain insight into this kind of work. It makes me proud to be able to say that we worked with human brain cells, because there is certainly hardly anyone our age who has done that before. At the beginning of this project, I knew very little about this disease. To experience the exact medicinal background, that is the processes in the brain in the course of the disease, was very exciting and thrilling. It was also moving to see how to deal with people with this disease and to see that they are happy in their small world. My favorite moments happened at the University Clinic in Salzburg. My ambition to study was awakened with this project. I can only say that I’m proud and happy to have worked on such a project. The project was very educational and I had a lot of fun. Through this project, my team spirit grew extremely big and I definitely had a formative experience.
Since this was my second time participating in the elective class, Genetic and Biotechnology, I already had an idea of the great experiences to come. But this year, my expectations were actually exceeded, because we not only had the opportunity to take a really interesting and enriching laboratory course (thanks to the great lab instructors!!), but there was also a social and personal growth aspect, which was definitely enriching for us all. All in all, it was a really successful project with a really great team!
I participated in last year’s project, and this year’s project totally surprised me once again. Who would’ve thought that Alzheimer’s could be so complicated? I got to know some new aspects of project work again this year, because entirely different work was necessary to reach the desired outcome. Because I have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease, I had a particular interest in the course and work this year. Over the course of the project, it became clear to me that in spite of all of the science, not all of the processes in the human body can be understood. Humans remain a miracle, whether we want to believe it or not.
This project was really an exciting experience. On one side: seeing the cell cultures and analyzing their reactions in certain experiments with the help of the most modern laboratory techniques. On the other side: fascinating meetings with people who suffer from Alzheimer’s. I learned a lot about how to appropriately deal with aging people and I’m really happy that I was able to have this experience, because you can never know if someday a person in your own circle will get Alzheimer’s. Another experience that was totally new to me: the RNAs, which are only a few bases in length, can have such an enormous effect on the process or the organism. All in all, everyone worked really well together in the team and we had some fun. Even though I was cursed as a Paparazza. ;)
Like last year, I signed up again this year for the elective course genetic and biotechnology. And I was really excited about the team and the project this year too. In addition to the hours spent in the lab, we visited a nursing home and a geriatric ward, where we had lots of interesting experiences. Above all, I was excited about the commitment of the younger students, who participated fully in the project and gratefully took advice from the older students. The theme of Alzheimer’s is very important for young people, because there are more and more patients with this incurable disease. Through various lectures and seminars, we were given good insight into the topic and understand this disease better now.
Dios – Dionys:
It was a great pleasure to work on the genetic and biotechnology elective project again this year. The extremely interesting lab work was combined with numerous workshops and visits. I enjoyed working on the photo documentation (among other things) again this year. Our results speak for themselves and we can be proud that we completed another successful project this year.
I was again most fascinated that such a big group could work so well together. Each person chose a couple of things to focus on that suited them well or that they were simply interested in and out came (in my opinion) a fantastic project. Because each person played to his or her strengths, we were in top form in every area. I was especially interested in the lab work this year. It was a highlight for me and I could always learn something from it. This elective is simply the greatest. It continuously motivated me and showed me a whole new world. When else do high school students have the opportunity to look behind the scenes of research or participate in it? Simply terrific.
Multiplying human brain cells with Alzheimer’s characteristics in the school laboratory is at first a bit scary, but at the same time, also fascinating. I’m almost positive that high school students have never done anything like this before. And then to carry out experiments using the ultra-current microRNA technology, which, in addition, provided top of the line results: this is almost unbelievable. Being able to bring high-tech lab equipment into the school is definitely one of the things that motivate me to lead such extensive projects. But it is even nicer to experience how a team of young people grows together during the project, how each person brings his or her talents, and how the group presses ahead with great commitment. It’s a pleasure to work with you.
I was most impressed by the fact that Alzheimer’s is so hard to diagnose. An MRI scan of a person that can hardly put together a full sentence could also belong to a healthy person. Also, when people become more forgetful in their old age, it does not always mean that they have dementia.
This in-depth study of Alzheimer’s was a new and extremely exciting experience for all of us. It required a lot of work and concentration to deal with this topic and each person in the group had to work very well together. This is what fascinated me. On one hand, the work in the group was fun; on the other hand, we learned a lot from the many excursions and lab work. It is a good feeling to be so informed about this complex disease and to later eventually be able to help people with this knowledge. In the end, it was a great and definitely successful project that we could all benefit from in many ways. A cool thing.
I really liked this project! It’s cool to have been able to participate in a ground-breaking project as a high school student. In addition to the lab work, I really liked the social part. The talks with the Alzheimer’s patients especially taught me a lot about how to handle people like that. The only problem was that there were so many participants. But the project was still really great and I would totally do it again in a second!
The project was a great experience. The visit to the geriatric ward was really important to me. The elderly seemed really happy and in high spirits, despite their illness. At first, I didn’t understand why the expenses and cost of care for Alzheimer’s patients was so high, but after our lectures and excursions, it’s clear to me now. The work in the laboratory was new and very interesting. Cool project!!!!
As a lab rat, the lab work was naturally the highlight of the project for me. It’s absolutely crazy to imagine that no other high school students worldwide have worked with such methods. The social part of the project impressed me a lot as well. Previously, I had been a bit skeptical of the project, because I didn’t have any point of reference for Alzheimer’s. When you meet the people with Alzheimer’s and speak with them, you understand that they are happy and live in the own dream world. It was a huge life experience for me!!! All in all, it was a great project and fun was never in short supply!!! :-)
I decided to participate in the genetic and biotechnology project again this year, where I belong to the group of “old guys.” Over the course of working together with the younger grades, we got to know each other much better and became a good team. The teamwork was very successful and we always had fun. Of course, the project is also time intensive and sometimes hard, in addition to regular classes. But the experiences that we gained definitely made the work worth it. I especially liked the social aspect of the project. The visit to the Christian Doppler Clinic was the most interesting, as well as the workshop with Dr. Schloffer. A highlight was also the visit to the nursing home in Kuchl, where we spent an afternoon with some patients suffering from Alzheimer’s. I found the film “Ilse, where are you?” to be particularly thought provoking. The direct contact with the people was particularly important to me. It was nice to see how the Alzheimer’s patients cope with everyday life, in spite of their problems. I find it admirable that the family members and caretakers care for these people so sensitively. This year’s topic taught us a lot about the importance of thinking about the future and social engagement. It was a real life experience! Finally, I have to say how brilliant the teamwork was again this year!!!
I really liked this project. I personally enjoyed the laboratory part the best: how to handle human brain cells so that they stay alive. I also liked the visit to the university clinic. I think it’s cool that we can do such projects at our school. In our society, people are becoming older and older and need the appropriate care and understanding. The team was first class. You could count on everybody and everybody gave their best. You can only say: awesome team, awesome topic, awesome results
At the beginning of the project, I wasn’t sure what Alzheimer’s really meant. I knew: it’s a disease that mostly older people get, then they get confused, because they can’t manage their lives. This project opened my eyes to how dangerous and complex this disease is. Now I understand in retrospect what happened to my grandmother, when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and why she did strange things. I think that this knowledge will also be useful to me in the future, because the number of Alzheimer’s patients will rapidly increase in the coming years.
School and fundamental research. Can it work? Will the students be interested in the precise lab work and the many new and complex terms and methods that they have to learn? I had these doubts at the beginning of the project, but I didn’t know the “Ursprungers” yet! It was a pleasure for me to see how interested the students pounced on the topic “Alzheimers and miRs” and absorbed all of the information that they could get. They didn’t shy away from complicated topics and surprised me with their knowledge and their great joy and curiosity that they gave to the lab work. I was even more pleased that our experiment worked. I also found it cool that the students had the chance to deal with the medical as well as the social facts and problems of Alzheimer’s. This mix certainly gave them a very detailed picture of the disease. Each participant had the chance to better understand Alzheimer’s and the related problems as well as the urgency of finding appropriate solutions on the social and medical level.
Michael G.:
Alzheimer’s is an issue that seemingly everyone sooner or later is affected by either indirectly or directly. For this reason, I think it’s really exciting that students were able to work with this topic. I think it’s especially great that the students engaged with not only the medical aspects of Alzheimer’s, but also the social aspects. I’m excited and continuously impressedby the drive and enthusiasm with which the “Ursprungers” work in the lab. The commitment that they show to their work (even outside of school hours) is extraordinary.
This year’s project was, as expected, a super experience. I really enjoyed the work in the lab. The teamwork was simply great and I’m sure that the knowledge that I gained from this project will be useful to me in the future. The visits with the Alzheimer’s patients were very interesting. Although we were somewhat prepared from the dementia workshop, it was still shocking to see how much these people live in the past and how little they actually realize what’s going on around them. I remember a patient from the geriatric ward in Salzburg. He and his (healthy) wife told us stories from their life together. He was an avid hunter and carpenter, and was totally engrossed in his story. He told us about his churches and houses and the wild boars and deer. His wife gave him a word to prompt him every once in a while. They both seemed to enjoy it. I admire his wife and the caretaker for the ward for their patience and passion for their work with people with dementia, as it is certainly not an easy task.
I came a bit late to the team this year, but with the help of Mr. Steiner and my other teammates, I was able to integrate fairly quickly and well. A highlight for me was the visit to the nursing home in Kuchl, where we met and spoke with people with Alzheimer’s disease. It was something new for me, because I don’t have any cases of Alzheimer’s in my family. I found it very interesting how much the spirit of a person can change. The laboratory part was also very exciting, because we really did something new and because it was designed by our lab leaders in a very interesting way. In the future, I will definitely have a better understanding of the elderly and be more considerate. All in all, I’d like to say that it was a super project, once again, and that I had a lot of fun.