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NIH funds 16 Science Education Partnership Awards

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today it will provide up to an estimated $17 million to fund 16 Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPAs). Led by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) a part of the NIH SEPAs provide two to five years of support to stimulate scientific curiosity and encourage hands-on science education activities. By supporting collaboration among scientists, educators and community organizations, SEPA projects help improve public understanding of NIH-funded medical research and encourage young people to choose science as a career path.

SEPA projects advance science and health education through ways such as interactive traveling exhibits, 3-D animated lessons, virtual and mobile labs and online teaching curricula.

"Now in its 18th year, the SEPA program reaches tens of thousands annually in more than 40 states, Puerto Rico and about 15 American Indian communities," said NCRR Director Barbara M. Alving, M.D. "Projects include innovative and interactive methods that help explain the complexities of front page health and science topics, such as the role of diet and physical activity in health. Through these collaborations, students gain skills and engage their imaginations as they learn about the mysteries of disease, how to stay healthy and perhaps set a course for their future careers."

These 16 awards bring the SEPA portfolio to 66 active grants, including 18 underway at science museums and planetariums. Through diverse venues, these new projects will continue the SEPA tradition of encouraging the next generation of health professionals while advancing public understanding of health and medicine.

2008 Science Education Partnership Awards

(A full description of the projects is available at

American Museum of Natural History (New York), Five-Year Award: $1.09 million
Human Health and Human Bulletins: Scientists and Teens Explore Health Sciences

The American Physiological Society (Bethesda, Md.), Three-Year Award: $794,500
Six Star Science for Student-Centered Learning

Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Three-Year Award: $655,000
Genetics of Taste: A Flavor for Health Community Lab and Education Programs

East Carolina University (Greenville, N.C.), Two-Year Award: $504,000
FoodMaster: Impacting K-12 Learning Environments Phase II

Georgia State University (Atlanta), Three-Year Award: $760,000
Helping K-12 Students Become Fluent in the Language of DNA

Harvard Medical School (Boston), Two-Year Award*: $538,000
Opening the Pipeline for Native High Schools: Phase II

*Funding for this award was provided by six NIH institutes, including the National Center for Research Resources, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Iowa State University (Ames), Three-Year Award: $771,500
Meta!Blast: An Immersive Interactive Learning Module for Cell Biology

Kansas University Medical Center (Kansas City), Five-Year Award: $1.25 million
PathOlogical Life Sciences Training Program for Students and Families

Montclair State University (Montclair, N.J.), Five-Year Award: $1.3 million
Epidemiology and the Energy Balance Equation

New York Hall of Science (New York), Five-Year Award: $1.35 million
Evolution and Health Traveling Exhibition and Education Programs

Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (Seattle), Five-Year Award: $1.35 million
Collaborations to Understand Research and Ethics (CURE)

Penn State College of Medicine (Hershey, Pa.), Five-Year Award: $1.31 million
Investing in the Future: Collaborative Research Experiences for Students and Teachers

University of Alaska Fairbanks, Five-Year Award: $1.35 million
Biomedical Partnership for Research Education Pipeline in Alaska (Alaska BioPREP)

University of California, San Francisco, Five-Year Award: $1.33 million Pathways: Promoting Access to the Health Sciences through Partnership

University of Georgia (Athens), Five-Year Award: $1.3 million
Learning Biological Processes Through Animations and Inquiry: A New Approach

University of Hawaii at Manoa (Honolulu), Five-Year Award: $1.31 million
Pacific Education and Research for Leadership in Science (PEARLS)


Contact: NCRR Office of Communications
NIH/National Center for Research Resources

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