Long-term goals are to develop, evaluate, and disseminate nationwide an engaging Rural Science Promotion Model that integrates biomedical sciences into middle schools to enhance understanding of the value and ethics of research and the clinical trail process. Research education and careers will be fostered through development of interactive curricula, professional development, and classroom visits from local veterinarians. Rural schools have a prevalence of environmentally-related and zoonotic diseases, difficulty in recruiting science teachers, and less interaction with scientific professionals who could influence their career choices. Middle school is the prime developmental period for social skills and academic competence. Information on the history of drug and medical device development and associated diseases will be integrated into science curricula and disseminated into rural (and other), underserved settings through veterinarians'school visits and follow-up lessons teachers present.
Specific aims are to: 1) develop curricular materials [Veterinarians'Black Bags (VBBs) of hands-on and demonstrational materials, follow-up lessons, and pamphlets] directed at K-12 and the general public that support local veterinarians'visits into rural public middle schools to promote science, understanding of the clinical trial process and responsible use of animals in research;2) provide professional development for public school teachers (on how to present follow-up lessons), for veterinary students (course work elective on communication through outreach), and for veterinarians (continuing education training with public school communication strategies and streaming videos on how to present materials in the VBBs);and 3) promote the application of science and value of biomedical and clinical research by veterinary students and local veterinarians'visits into rural public middle schools. They will illustrate the use of scientific method in disease diagnosis, promote understanding of the problem-solving value of biomedical research funded by NIH to address animal and human health issues, and promote careers in science and biomedical fields. Phase I will develop the model of veterinarians in the public school classroom in Texas, and Phase II will disseminate the model and materials nationwide. Public understanding of the process and accomplishments of animal research for both animal and human health will be enhanced. Likewise, knowledge of the process by which drugs and medical devices (appliances) become approved and available for public use will be promoted. Through this unique, Rural Science Promotion Model, a larger number of underrepresented students throughout Texas and the nation will be encouraged to enter and remain in science academic tracks to better meet the nation's needed scientific and biomedical workforce.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRR1-SEPA-9 (01))
Program Officer
Beck, Lawrence A
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Texas A&M University
Veterinary Sciences
Schools of Veterinary Medicine
College Station
United States
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Johnson, Larry; Thompson Jr, Donald L; Varner, Dickson D (2008) Role of Sertoli cell number and function on regulation of spermatogenesis. Anim Reprod Sci 105:23-51