A major problem in the current education system is the inadequate exposure of science to talented high school students. This translates to a continued decrease in the number of students selecting applied science as their career choice. The PIs propose that early exposure to an active scientific experience can have a major impact on the perception of science by young students and therefore attract them to scientific careers. The Discovery to Cure High School Internship Program (DTCHIP) considers highly motivated national applicants, including those from underserved and underprivileged ethnicities and environments and offers them an opportunity to work alongside principal investigators in the academic science center laboratories at the Yale School of Medicine. Over the past nine years the Program has mentored over 200 interns and has expanded to include undergraduate students and high school teachers. The PIs' objective is to provide, through the Discovery to Cure High School Internship Program, high quality research experience to qualified students, undergraduates and high school teachers and to expose them to the excitement and possibility of biomedical research careers.
Their specific aims are as follows:
Aim 1) to provide a high quality, hands-on experience to all interns. Interns work in state-of-the-art laboratories, under the mentorship of a PI, post-doctorate or research assistant, learning basic laboratory methods and techniques and producing an independent research project, which he or she presents to mentors, faculty and peers at the end of the Program.
Aim 2) to encourage scientific curiosity, cooperation and foster critical thinking. Interns develop their own scientific projects, which will be further expanded during the academic year at their institution, encouraging them to participate in National Science events. So far the program has been able, with limited resources, to make a difference in a growing number of young minds. Support from NIH will allow us to expand and improve our mission and reach a greater number of students locally as well as nationally. Yale's facilities and environment provides one of the best venues for attracting young minds to the world of science.
The PIs' goal is to provide, through the Discovery to Cure High School Internship Program, high quality research experience to qualified high school students, undergraduates and high school teachers and to expose them to the excitement and possibility of biomedical research careers. Their objectives are: to attract young students to careers in science; enhance the scientific experience of undergraduate students; and to enhance the skills of science teachers and enable them to become more effective in communicating the nature of the scientific process to their students.