We believe that research is a mentoring process, and that to encourage students to pursue research careers, it is important to give them hands on experience with a research project. We propose to continue our two highly successful summer research programs at the University of Pennsylvania, the Teen Research and Education in Environmental Science (TREES) program, a high school research program and the Short Term Educational Experiences for Research (STEER) program, an undergraduate research internship program. TREES and STEER are educational activities of the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET) through its COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND ENGAGEMENT CORE (COEC). The programs offer mentored summer research experiences to high school and college students and are run in parallel each summer with many integrated activities. In addition, we provide a high-school teacher training program. The goals of the program are to provide a meaningful summer experience in environmental health science so as to attract individuals at formative stages in their career development into STEM careers, particularly environmental studies. Our programs are the first step of the educational pipeline that we created to train tomorrow's scientists in the environmental health sciences. Additionally, because graduate students, many of whom are supported by a T32 training grant in Environmental Toxicology, teach the TREES students, our summer program provides them with valuable classroom experience. From 2007 through 2016, 76 high school students participated in the TREES program, 76 undergraduates participated in the STEER program and four teachers participated in the teacher program. The programs were funded through R25 ES016146 and renewed as R25 ES021649. Here we propose to continue our programs under NIEHS PAR-15-184, which is the currently active NIEHS RFA.

Public Health Relevance

Two summer research educational programs will be supported by this proposal: The Teen Research and Education in Environmental Science (TREES), a research program for high school students and teachers and the Short Term Educational Experiences for Research (STEER) a college internship program. Through a mentored research experience, our goals are to motivate students towards careers in environmental science and health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Education Projects (R25)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1)
Program Officer
Humble, Michael C
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University of Pennsylvania
Schools of Medicine
United States
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