This is a competitive renewal in support of the Discovery to Cure High School Internship Program (DTCHIP). The Discovery to Cure High School Internship was established 15 years ago in order to offer an unprecedented scientific and personal challenge to young students by pairing them with respected scientists and encouraging and fostering their interest in the fields of science and medicine. The Program has been extremely successful. Its impact on young scientists has been proven over the years, and with the support of NICHD/NIH, we have been able to expand the program and increase the number of participating students. During the current funding period (2012-2016), the DTCHIP has mentored 208 Scholars, 138 from minority or underprivileged areas. The quality and relevance of the program are recognized by top universities, which take into consideration the students' participation in the program for their selection. Top colleges and universities throughout the country, including Yale University, have accepted the graduated high school Scholars from the program, with a record number in their early action. This proposal is a continuation of this well-established, rigorous, step-wise, research-training program. Our objective is to continue and expand our objective to provide, thought 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.
Our specific aims are as follows:
Aim 1) To provide high school students with a rich intellectual and investigative environment. 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. As proven so far, the DTCHIP provides the Scholars with the training required to contribute in an active, productive and significant way to the ongoing research within the laboratories that they are assigned. The data generated by the Scholars has been incorporated into publications where they are co-authors, further contributing to their academic careers.
Our objective 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. Our 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.