The overall goal of this project is to foster outreach, service learning, and other educational and career development partnerships between biochemistry and molecular biology faculty from Washington, D.C. area colleges and universities with nearby high schools. The centerpiece of this effort will be a workshop on outreach activities for science, technology, engineering and mathematics [STEM] faculty - college, university, middle school, and high school - held as part of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's [ASBMB] 2011 national meeting to be held April 9-13 in Washington, D.C. This workshop represents a joint initiative of the A-Bomb's Minority Affairs Committee [MAC], Education and Professional Development Committee [EPD], and Undergraduate Affiliates Network [UAN]. The immediate goal of the workshop is to promote and facilitate the establishment of outreach partnerships between faculty from Washington, D.C. area colleges and universities with STEM teachers from local middle schools. The workshop is divided into three parts. In the first part, several examples of successful STEM outreach partnerships will be presented, followed by a panel style question and answer period. In the second part, participants will be invited to try out some example hands-on activities that can easily be adopted in the classroom. The third part will consist of a networking luncheon that has as its goal to provide space and time for teachers and faculty to develop potential partnerships. The intent of this proposal is to support and incentivize the development of active research partnerships by providing seed funds to design and implement hands-on activities in their classrooms and also support relevant professional training activities, thereby immediately impacting science learning for their students.

Broader Impact: This workshop has the potential of impacting science learning of numerous students often denied access to quality instruction and experiences in STEM fields. Since the D. C. public schools, the target audience for this pilot workshop, serve a student body that is predominantly African American, the interactions that develop from this workshop will heavily impact underrepresented minorities. It is expected that the emergence of some successful local partnerships will provide both a spur and guiding model for additional outreach programs in the area. The long-term plan for this pilot project is to replicate similar workshops annually as part of the ASBMB National meetings in the cities where these will be hosted (in the immediate future are San Diego, CA, April, 2012 and Boston, MA, April 2013). Successful alumni of the first workshop will be invited to speak at later workshops. In addition, a survey of teachers in attendance immediately following the workshop and nine months later will be conducted to assess the impact on their teaching. Teachers that receive seed funds will be required to provide assessment of student learning and interest in science as part of their project reports. The outcomes of this workshop will be published in ASBMB Today and disseminated on the ASBMB website.

Project Report

The goal of the HOPES program is foster the formation of partnerships between biochemists, molecular biologists, and other life scientists at colleges and universities with K-12 teachers. The objective of these partnerships is to develop outreach activites that leverage the knowledge and resources available to faculty at our institutions of higher learning top provide K-12 students with engaging and authentic experiences from which to learn about the process of scientific discovery. The long-term goal: to have K-12 students meet professional research scientists and engage in experiential learning activities that provide them with both a more informed perspective on research and the scientific method, but to provide them with a tangible human connection to a practicing scientist. The products of scientific research are making a major impact on our nation and its citizens. As both voters and consumers today's citizens are confronted on a regular basis with decisions involving the evaluation of both authentic and purported results of scientific research. Our most important objective is to put a human face and tangible form to scientific research and discovery that will aid participating students in their development as science-literate adults. Over the past two years, our group has sponsored workshops in Washyington D.C., San Diego CA, and Boston MA bringing together interested K-12, college, and university educators to learn how to develop effective outreach programs and to connect with potential partners. To date, roughly 150 persons have attended these workshops. To encourage the translating ideas into reality, we have offered seed grants to support outreach partnerships between university/college scientists and K-12 faculty targeting K-12 teachers and students. To date, we have received over sixty applications and made seventeen awards. The first set of ten outreach seed grants have reached fruition. These ten programs have provided professional development activities for twenty K-12 teachers and sponsored activities in which over 1,100 K-12 students have participated. This translates into two teachers and 100 students impacted per each $2000 seed grant. The student partiicpants have participated in research activities covering topics ranging from the migration of horseshoe crabs to the relationship between heart rate, blood pressure, respiratin and physical activity to the extraction and isolation of DNA. We fully expect that the 2012 and 2013 seed grant awards will yield both a similar variety of innovative student activities and reach an equally large array of K-12 students.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB)
Standard Grant (Standard)
Application #
Program Officer
Michele McGuirl
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
United States
Zip Code