Michael Chorney and Judith Bond received National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to create a model system designed to promote K-12 science education supported through the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) Program. The initiative, termed the Mid-Atlantic Regional Science Education Partnership Award (MAR-SEPA) Alliance, seeks to bring together the leadership from 19 of the regional NIH SEPA projects. The goal is to promote collaboration, sustainability and the generation of novel approaches in promoting science education and student interest in health careers, especially among minority students.
The first meeting was held on Feb. 18-19; the second occurred at State College on April 28-30. Chorney was invited to present the initial regional results at the National SEPA meeting in Seattle on May 9 where he discussed the benefits of consolidating educational research thrusts by sharing resources and rethinking the current science education paradigm. He also has advanced a concept for a grade 11-12 novel, project-oriented science elective. NIH Director of Science Education Programs Bruce Fuchs believes the alliance initiative is extremely timely in view of discouraging funding levels and the urgent need to improve the science literacy of today’s youth. Fuchs and SEPA Program Director Tony Beck directed a series of six follow-up breakout sessions in Seattle designed to implement other regional SEPA Alliances across the country based on the Penn State Hershey model.
Bond currently holds a SEPA award that provides high school students with a hands-on research experience, termed the “Collaborative Research Experiences for Students and Teachers.” Chorney is principal investigator of an undergraduate summer training program from NIH termed INTREPID, which focuses on minority undergraduates.