The Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL) and the NIEHS Center for Membrane Toxicity Studies (CMTS) at MDIBL propose a Short-Term Educational Experience for Research (STEER) for six Maine high school students. The overall goal of the MDIBL STEER program is to match selected students with NIEHS Center investigators for a hands-on research experience in the environmental health sciences. The scientific theme is "Pathways of Chemical Action in Human Disease", which parallels the Center's mission to elucidate the mechanisms of toxicity and pathways of excretion of environmental toxicants at the cellular and molecular level. In addition to the research experience, each student will assemble a fellowship portfolio, including their laboratory notebook, and other components to document their fellowship. Students will participate in external activities to enrich the laboratory experience including journal club meetings, scientific seminars, and presentations. The Center for Research and Evaluation at the University of Maine will conduct program evaluation and analysis, as well as short-term student follow-up. MDIBL will track the educational and career paths of STEER participants beyond their completion of the STEER program. STEER administrators will work with local high school teachers who will nominate students to apply to the program, and who will help MDIBL identify students underrepresented in science by virtue of their ethnicity, race, or individuals from economically or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds.
The specific aims of the MDIBL STEER program are: 1. To provide Maine high school students with multidisciplinary research experiences in the environmental health sciences with applications to human health, mentored by nationally recognized basic scientists and physician scientists and 2. To serve as a pipeline for Maine high school students to continue in undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the environmental health sciences.
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