BioSTORM: Biomedical STEM Transitions through Outreach, Research, and Model Education is a STEM Academy designed to increase the number of American Indian high school graduates who are prepared to enter college academic majors aligned with biomedical and biobehavioral research. The project enrolls American Indian junior and senior high school students in afternoon classes for two consecutive academic years on a tribal college campus, providing culturally congruent education, rigorous coursework, mentoring, and an extended research experience.
In an effort to increase the diversity of the biomedical and biobehavioral workforce, Salish Kootenai College (SKC) has developed BioSTORM: Biomedical STEM Transitions through Outreach, Research, and Model Education. This project seeks to increase the number of American Indian high school graduates who are prepared for rigorous education in college academic majors aligned with biomedical and biobehavioral research through a concurrent enrollment STEM Academy. The Academy will consist of three major components: 1. Concurrent enrollment academic coursework that is rigorous, transferrable as college credit, and provides model STEM education; 2. an innovative research course sequence that increases student engagement through design and implementation of a research project over two academic years; and 3. an outreach component through which BioSTORM students will present their research to elementary and middle school students and provide near-peer mentoring and role modeling. Most importantly, BioSTORM participants will experience a culturally relevant learning environment and culturally responsive teaching that enhances students’ educational outcomes including college readiness. Additional program components include use of the Academy as a practicum site for SKC’s secondary education science and mathematics students, who will benefit from participation in curricula aligned with Next Generation Science standards and research-based pedagogy. The final intent of the project is to increase the pipeline of American Indian students prepared to enter college with declared majors in fields related to biomedical or bio-behavioral research or clinical practice.