The objective of this proposal is to enhance the total social, personal and academic perspective, and to diminish the impact of reduced educational opportunities and environmental disadvantages on minority high school students in Philadelphia. The program is well integrated into all existing educational and research programs of the University of Pennsylvania, and draws on eleven years of prior experience in the training of over 125 high school minority students and 10 secondary teachers. The accepted premise is that a long term solution must improve the educational opportunities and exposure of minority students from the earliest stages onward. To meet this need we propose and justify support for a comprehensive, multi-component program that increases minority interest and competence in the biomedical science through hands on laboratory experiences, supplemented by basic science instruction and career counseling. The program participants include eight high school students and two high school science teachers per year. We believe that this program will both enhance the interest and self esteem of program participants.
The specific aims of this project are: l. To provide students with a realistic introduction to the biomedical professions: including hands-on laboratory experiences that provide the confidence gained by mastering skills relative to their goals; orientating them toward the education necessary to achieve their aims: and assisting and supporting them in solving pragmatic problems. 2. To develop an integrated network of high school educators who will develop new discovery oriented educational strategies, and more informed and aggressive attitudes toward the motivation of secondary students with interests in the biomedical sciences. 3. To enable practicing research scientists to play a greater role in developing the content of precollege education, and to participate in career counseling of program participants.