BioTrac National Replication Project — Phase II
The Miami Museum of Science in collaboration with University of Miami’s (UM) School of Medicine is requesting a Phase II grant to support national replication of the Biomedical Training Research and College Prep (BioTrac) Project. The goal of Phase I now in its final year of funding was to develop a replicable model aimed at increasing the numbers of underserved students entering the biomedical research pipeline. Phase I focused on priority areas under Healthy People 2000 reflecting health issues of interest to the community as well as resources available through UM’s Jackson Memorial Medical Center. Comprising hands-on project-based programming career awareness activities college prep research internships and college residential experiences the project has served 98 students to date of whom 88% are low-income and 96% reside in homes where English is the second language. Of the 43 seniors who have graduated to date 42 are enrolled in post-secondary studies. Of these 52% have chosen a science-related major and of these 73% have chosen a biomedical course of study. Under the proposed Phase II project the useum will establish BioTrac as a national demonstration site extending BioTrac strategies and materials to formal and informal science institutions (ISis) through site-based institutes distance-learning opportunities and professional conferences and publications. Continued delivery of BioTrac programming at the demonstration site will also further increase the number of underrepresented students entering the biomedical research pipeline and allow for further programming aimed at increasing public understanding of Healthy People 2010 priorities and biomedical research. The museum will target ISis with youth programs to attend a three-day replication institute reaching a minimum of 30 ISis during the grant. Through participation in national conferences and professional development sponsored by the Association of Science-Technology Centers representng 340 ISis the model has the capacity to impact small medium and large science centers nationwide. The model will also be adaptable for use by the other 123 Upward Bound Math & Science Centers engaged in science enrichment programming for underserved youth. Finally elements of the model will be suitable for extracurricular school-based science clubs and high school magnet programs focused on biomedicine further extending the potential impact of the model to school districts nationwide.