Building a Pipeline for Introducing and Increasing Interest in Science for Minority and Underrepresented Students Minorities, other than Asian Americans, earn fewer bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in science and engineering fields than their proportion in the population. Yet minority children seem to be even more interested in science than their white counterparts. Thus, we must assume that something happens during the children's formative years that does not reinforce their early interest in science. To remedy this, we propose to develop a new curriculum, Educating and Advancing Science in Youth (EASY 1-2-3), that, when fully developed, will begin in kindergarten and will continue through 12th grade to stimulate children's interest in science. The curriculum will be multimedia, fun to use, entertaining and interesting. It also will focus on a particular area of interest, the human body, something to which students can relate.
Our aim i s to start introducing our curriculum to 12 schools, beginning with 6th-10th grades, in four national markets: Baton Rouge, LA, where schools are racially mixed; Los Angeles, CA, where Hispanics make up the majority of students; New Orleans, LA, where schools are racially mixed but there is a small predominance of African Americans; and in Oklahoma City, OK, where the schools are racially mixed, but also include a significant proportion of American Indian children. We plan to pre-pilot our curriculum to five students per school in each market, work out any problems during this period, then pilot it to 10 students per school in each market. At the end of the third year of the project, we plan to do a full rollout of the curriculum to children at all elementary, middle and high school age groups, select as many as 30 students per school, and, if there is interest, open it to different schools. A secondary part of the study is to offer material that is complementary to what the students receive on human health to the students' families and members of the communities. Our goal is to determine if this curriculum increases student interest in science, as indicated by their participation in science projects in class, increased discussions with family and community members about science and, ultimately, their decision to pursue a scientific career.

Public Health Relevance

EASY 1-2-3 Building a Pipeline for Introducing and Increasing Interest in Science for Minority and Underrepresented Students Educating and Advancing Science in Youth (EASY) 1-2-3 is an educational project to present a science curriculum to K-12 students that will interest them through use of information related to the structure and function of the human body. The goal of the program is to increase under-represented minorities in science by interesting children in science at a young age, through use of information that the students will find entertaining and interesting. At the same time, the program will engage students' families and the community by presenting similar scientific information to them in the hopes of stimulating a dialogue among the students, their families and the community to aid in support for the students' studies and to increase adults' knowledge of health- related topics.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1-RN (01))
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Wasserman, Joan
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Mica II, LLC
United States
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