Winkleby Lab In the Prevention Research Center

MKITS Scientific Abstract

Stanford Science Education and Outreach Program
Part of the Minority K-12 Initiative for Teachers and Students (MKITS)
Funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute

Marilyn Winkleby, Principal Investigator

Background: Only 0.5% of Native American, 16% of Latino, and 21% of African American high school graduates earn a college degree compared with 37% of White students, resulting in a critical shortage of underrepresented ethnic minorities in scientific and health careers.

Partners: A partnership has been formed between an internationally renowned research program in cardiovascular disease (CVD) epidemiology at Stanford and science teachers from four California high schools. Each school population is either predominantly rural Native American, rural Latino, urban Latino, or urban African American.

Curriculum: We will develop and evaluate a curriculum focused on CVD, the scientific process, health disparities, health careers, and the college admissions process. The major components of our program are school-based: 1) an academic-year science program for all interested juniors (10-25 students from each school for a total of 80 per year); and Stanford-based: 2) a one-day CVD and college guidance workshop each year for all science program students and their guidance counselors and parents; 3) a five-week CVD Summer Institute for selected science program students (~5 students from each school for a total of 20 per year who will return to their schools as seniors to be teaching assistants); and 4) a one-week CVD Summer Institute for science teachers (1-3 teachers from each school for ~ 8 per year). During the program, we will train 320 students overall and 100 students intensively.

Focus: The curriculum for both students and teachers will have a broad focus on CVD and public health. It will be distinguished by: hands-on CVD science demonstrations; community-based, culturally-relevant group research projects; interactions with biomedical research scientists; hospital and clinical field placements in the community and at Stanford; strong mentoring from Stanford faculty and students; individualized college and career guidance; technology training; and long-term student and institutional support.

Evaluation: We will use process and outcome evaluation to assess teacher training, the curriculum implementation, student engagement in and knowledge about the scientific process, number of students entering college and scientific professions, and dissemination and sustainability of the program. We will follow all students annually through college graduation and beyond using a telephone survey to provide long-term support and evaluate the numbers pursuing science majors in college and entering scientific and health careers. Our new program will build on our highly successful 15-year-old summer academic enrichment program that has reached 333 low-income high school students. Over 90% have been followed for up to 15 years; almost 100% have entered college. Among college graduates, 11% are in or have completed medical school, 32% are in or have completed graduate school, 21% are employed in health careers, and 22% are employed in non-health jobs.



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