DukeMed Activated (DukeMed A+) is an integrated science enrichment program for disadvantaged (DIS) and under-represented minority (URM) students in Durham Public Schools. A seamless continuum of staged components the program spans grades 3-12 and is designed to: generate and sustain interest in the sciences build academic skills including verbal written critical thinking and analytic instill a sense of responsibility to self peers community and society cultivate capacities for leadership and teamwork and encourage pursuit of further science education and science-related careers with a focus on healthcare and biomedical research. Using proven age-appropriate methods it engages students in progressively more intensive and challenging activities methods include inquiry-based learning hands-on/experiential exercises mentoring near-peer mentoring team-based research projects direct exposures through immersions and field trips and cultivation of leadership skills. Creating a ‘pipeline’ that prepares DIS/URM students for advanced science education and/or training DukeMed A+ comprises 4 components all of which have been tested. DukeMed Elementary provides experiential learning sessions for all 3rd graders in 6 schools a weekend program for 4th graders and a hands-on activity in a Duke lab for 5th graders. BOOST offers school-based activities to full science classes in 6th grade plus one-on-one mentoring exposures/field trips and research activities to a subset of motivated DIS/URM students. BOOST XL engages 7th-9th graders in increasingly complex problem-solving and team- based research with continued mentoring. Scientifica involves 8th-12th graders in research. An overarching theme Mind and Body unifies these program components. Subthemes addressed at each stage (e.g. neurobiology motion nutrition/metabolism) are aligned with North Carolina grade-specific science curricula. Teacher professional development and family/community involvement both major elements of DukeMed A+ create a backdrop of student support and also enhance science teachers’ knowledge base and skills and educate the community about health cutting-edge science and research.
Duke Med Elementary BOOST Science Program Scientifica