Winkleby Lab In the Prevention Research Center

Educational Initiatives

Dr. Winkleby leads several educational initiatives designed to prepare high school students from low-income and under-represented backgrounds to enter college, graduate and/or medical school, and, eventually, science- and health-related careers.

The Stanford Medical Youth Science Program (SMYSP) is a five-week summer residential program for low-income high school students among whom 97% have been followed for up to 21 years. Twenty-four students are selected annually, with participation limited to low-income students who have faced substantial personal hardships. Undergraduate and medical students provide key program leadership and training. The curriculum is based on science inquiry education and includes hospital internships, anatomy practicums, research projects, faculty lectures, college admissions/standardized test preparation, and long-term college and career guidance. 476 high school students participated between 1988 and 2008, with 61% from underrepresented ethnic minority groups. Overall, 78% of African-American, 81% of Latino, and 82% of Native American participants have earned a 4-year college degree (among those admitted to college, and excluding those currently attending college). In contrast, among 25- to 34-year old California adults, 16% of African-Americans, 8% of Latinos, and 10% of Native Americans earn a 4-year college degree. Among SMYSP’s 4-year college graduates, 47% are attending or have completed medical or graduate school, and 43% are working as or training to become health professionals. SMYSP offers a model that expands inquiry-based science education beyond the classroom, and recognizes the role of universities as “high school interventionists” to help diversify health professions.

The Stanford SEPA Project (SEPA) is a grant from the National Institutes of Health that will offer university- and school-based science education programs for low-income and URM high school students. The project will: 1) Conduct a case/control study to assess the impact of SMYSP’s university-based summer residential program using a well-matched comparison group (120 cases and 240 controls); 2) Develop SMYSP Best Practices for high school teachers and post-secondary educators; 3) Promote participation, near-peer mentoring, and leadership among 476 student and 148 Stanford student staff alumni from the university-based program; 4) Develop, pilot test, and implement a new high school-based Health Disparities Curriculum to be piloted and tested in one high school in the San Jose East Side Unified High School District (ESUHSD), a large under-resourced school district with 11 high schools; and 5) Integrate the Health Disparities Curriculum into science/health programs at the 10 other ESUHSD high schools.

SEPA Scientific Abstract

Grants for Precollege Science Education - Biomedical Research Institutions (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, HHMI) is a grant that helps sustain, integrate, and expand three exceptional biomedical outreach programs in the fields of Medical Sciences, Immunology, and Genetics at Stanford. The three existing programs form the foundation for integrated and new activities for high school students, teachers, Stanford students, families, and the community. The Initiative offers scientific training to high school students, with a special emphasis on low-income and ethnic minority students who are in great need of science education. Centered in Santa Clara County, California, the Initiative draws on local scientific resources and expertise to specifically target the County’s large underserved population and expands activities to the 11 under-resourced high schools in the San Jose East Side Union High School District that serve 20,000 students.

HHMI Scientific Abstract

The Minority K-12 Initiative for Teachers and Students (MKITS) was a grant from the National Institutes of Health that supported SMYSP and a partnership with under-resourced high schools to deliver science curricula and college guidance to students, and training about public health research and health careers to teachers.

MKITS Scientific Abstract

The Stanford School-Based Science Initiative (FIPSE) program was a grant from the Department of Education to improve post-secondary education. It supported SMYSP and offered training to low-income high school students on the scientific process and inquiry-based science, and provided exposure to colleges and interactions with health professionals. The initiative also promoted dissemination of “best practices” from high school pipeline programs at Schools of Medicine and Public Health throughout the country.

FIPSE Scientific Abstract

The Access to Achievement Education Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 2005 that seeks to ensure the long-term continuity and funding for SMYSP, and to support, promote, and disseminate model programs that enhance educational achievement among low-income students interested in science and health.

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