"First, we need to build a cyber infrastructure so that we can collaborate better with people at a geographic distance. For us, that means schools in Norfolk or Southside for instance. It will also enable high schools across the country that are not near a research facility to be involved in research," she said.
"Second, we want to involve low and average achievers not just the high-achieving students. Because low and average achieving students are used to NOT getting quick answers, they may be more creative in their approach and may blossom doing research where there is not a quick answer," said Dolan.
"Finally, we want to build the capacity for scientists and teachers from all over the country to mentor high school students in research."
More than 65 teachers and 30 scientists are involved in the partnership. Dolan's team will evaluate PREP's impact on student learning, teachers' ability to mentor students in research, and scientists' ability to mentor students in research and to communicate about research with the public. "This program helps the scientist broaden the impact of their research program. One of the biggest challenges of doing research is the lack of public understanding of how science is done. PREP blurs the boundaries between the practice of science and science education."
Horace G. Fralin's desire to support the field of biotechnology and the teaching, research, and outreach missions enabled creation of a permanent endowment to support the Fralin Life Science Institute. Proceeds match contributions and grants from other sources, helping to sustain the center's activities, including the outreach efforts. The project described was supported by Science Education Partnership Award from the National Center for Research Resources, a component of the National Institutes of Health.
|Contact: Susan Trulove|