NCRR Announces Funding of 11 Science Education Partnership Awards
The National Center for Research Resources has announced that it will provide nearly $11.5 million to fund 11 Science Education Partnership Awards across the nation
Akinso: The National Center for Research Resources has announced that it will provide nearly $11.5 million to fund 11 Science Education Partnership Awards across the nation. These projects also known by their acronym as "SEPA projects" are designed to inform the public about health issues, foster science literacy, and encourage students to consider careers in the health sciences. Dr. Tony Beck, Program Officer for the Division for Clinical Research Resources at the NCRR, said through mobile laboratories, portable science kits, and online activities, these projects will provide hands-on, inquiry-based,-instructions on topics such as cardiovascular risk factors, genetic testing, and diabetes treatment and prevention.
Beck: This is a SEPA program. It's been around since 1991. We have 72 active programs throughout the U.S.; Alaska, Puerto Rico and Hawaii. The purpose of this is to create a pipeline for underserved rural kids for clinical research careers and to educate the general public on what the NIH does.
Akinso: Dr. Beck said these programs reach out to students in rural and underserved communities by funding K-12 classroom activities as well as science centers and museum exhibits across the country.
Beck: The SEPA community is a very special community because most of the PIs —Principal Investigators— have full-time other careers. They're professors, they're clinicians; they may run a division at a science center museum, but teaching kids is what they really enjoy. It's reassuring to be able to see the devotion they have to this general community.
Akinso: Dr. Beck said the awards support professional development for science teachers; the development and distribution of hands-on science curricula; traveling exhibits; and Websites for students, teachers, and the general public. For more information about SEPA visit www.ncrrsepa.org. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Wally Akinso
Sound Bite: Dr. Tony Beck