Thursday, November 17, 2011

Presidential Award goes to UCSF high school internship program hosting CIRM-supported students

Last summer CIRM sponsored high school students to carry out stem cell research at five California universities in association with existing high school internship programs at those schools. Yesterday we learned that President Obama likes our choice of partner programs — the UCSF program that included six CIRM-supported students received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. That award to the Science & Health Education Partnership (SEP) High School Internship Program comes with a $25,000 grant.

The SEP program is focused on drawing students from disadvantaged backgrounds and giving them experiences that will help them succeed in college. In a press release, UCSF described their students:
The program works closely with San Francisco high school science teachers to identify students from disadvantaged backgrounds with significant potential. For example, the majority of high school interns come from families where neither parent has completed college. The education outcomes of students who participate in the internship program far exceed that of their peers - 92 percent matriculate to college, 76 percent complete Bachelor's degrees in the sciences, and 87 percent pursue post-baccalaureate degrees.
Congratulations to the UCSF team, and to the outstanding students who have gone through the program.

CIRM science officer Mani Vessal led the high school internship program for CIRM. The awards—called Creativity Awards—encourage participants to carry out research in an additional field unrelated to stem cell research. He said:
It really does foster creativity to have a mulitlinear approach to learning as opposed to just a single dimensional one. We're hoping to get the next generation of stem cell scientists who can think outside the box.
This short video features Ben Koo, the Academic Coordinator for the SEP program, and Creativity Award students from the UCSF and other programs talking about their research projects.

After last summer's success, CIRM is expanding our Creativity Awards program for next summer. The request for applications just got posted to our website.


1 comment:

  1. This is a fantastic idea that will tremendously help today's Californian ailing education system.