The long-term goal of the Joint Meetings of the National Institute of Science (NIS) and Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society is to increase the number of well-trained minority scientists. Offering academic support activities, networking, research experiences, role models and career information, have proven to be effective methods to achieve this goal. Over the years, the Joint Meeting has been a national forum where students (especially African-Americans) can present their research data and interact with scientists, exhibitors and peers, while obtaining information that will advance their careers.
The specific aims are: (1) to provide travel funds for 250 undergraduate students and 25 faculty advisors to exchange research data, obtain information from conference activities and network with scientists, university administrators and exhibitors;(2) to expand special activities to include the Hot Zone Series (a forum that focuses on scientific global issues), Evening Expose at the Market Place (shopping for the future by closely interacting with representatives from graduate and professional schools), Chat and Chew (implemented on a trial basis at the 64th Joint Meeting) speaks to methods of advancing students'successes) and the Academic Advancement Series (requested as an extension of a popular workshop) addresses the support required for academic retention and scholastic success;(3): to continue to form partnerships between the host institution(s) and the local minority communities by having undergraduate NIS and BKX student organizations work with high school science students on science projects prior to the Joint Meeting through the "Adopt a School Program" so that they can present their posters at the Meeting. At least 5 high school travel awards will be given to selected high achieving high school students with funds from several non-grant sources (Minority Women in Science (MWIS), NIS, BKX, etc.). Because of this Joint Meeting, we have seen accomplishments from our students that would likely not have occurred without these interventions. Resulting from this meeting will be a long-term network of students, faculty, research scientists, and health professionals and exhibitors working together to increase the numbers of minorities in the STEM disciplines.
This Joint Meeting will increase the number of minority students in STEM careers because of the implementation of travel awards, featured activities and extensive networking.