(2003-2006) This is an application to request funding to continue the dissemination of the Health Science and Technology Academy (HSTA) model of biomedical and behavioral science to four counties in West Virginia where high school students are financially disadvantaged or are minorities. The HSTA programming is currently active in 23 counties. The long-term objectives of HSTA are to increase the number of underrepresented students who complete post-secondary education in the health sciences such as medicine nursing dentistry and pharmacy. Consequently the outcome is to increase the number of health care providers from the program’s targeted population that practice in medically underserved West Virginia rural communities. Methods to achieve the long-term goals include the exposure of students to challenging extended extracurricular science learning during the school year and to the institutional faculty during the summer for a real experience of extended investigations. The students will also be guided to use student-created Teacher Facilitated Club-based websites to further disseminate globally the academic enrichment materials and inquiry-based science project they carry out through this exposure. The HSTA educational approach will impact the regular school science curriculum and the local communities through direct biomedical sciences and behavioral health sciences exposure of both teachers and students. The initiative is applauded by the West Virginia Educational Schools Department by the local Education Board and by the local community members as a program that has the potential of making a great impact on both the students’ learning and the state of WV health statistics. (2000-2003) This is an application to fund the continuance of the WVU HSTA in four counties of West Virginia. The HSTA programming that is now active in 20 counties of the state serves minority and financially disadvantaged students (grades 8-12) helping them to build self-esteem improve sciences and mathematical skills in preparations for college and choose appropriate health career majors. The long-term goal is to increase the number of underrepresented students who complete post-secondary education in the health sciences (e.g. medicine nursing dentistry and pharmacy) and remain in the state as health care providers. The investigator’s methods of achieving this long-term goal include use of inquiry-based projects emphasizing science math and computer technology with presentations by HSTA students at the Summer Institute and the Annual Spring Symposium. HSTA also provides opportunities for students to work with university scientists and health care professionals through their community HSTA clubs and during the Summer Institute. The extensive resources of the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center and the HSTA organization will be used to provide teachers parents and community health professionals with increased knowledge technical resources and professional support so that they may better encourage students to consider and prepare for careers in science and related fields. (1997-2000) This is an application to fund the expansion of the WVU HSTA currently active in 11 West Virginia counties to four additional counties in West Virginia. HSTA provides academic (chiefly science and math) enrichment and orientation to health careers for minority and financially disadvantaged grade 8-12 students. The long-term objectives of HSTA are to increase the number of underrepresented students who complete post-secondary education in the health sciences and return to rural West Virginia areas as health practitioners. Methods to achieve long-term goals include the provision to students of extended science investigations that have relevance to health. Also included are shadowing of health care interns and professionals and involvement in other health-related experiences (e.g. tobacco cessation programs) leadership training and opportunities to enhance technological literacy (e.g. computer/Internet utilization). Secondary science teachers community health care professionals and other community experts and university faculty collaborate to provide HSTA programming which is delivered through extracurricular community-based science clubs and a campus-based summer institute. The pedagogy and subject matter content of the HSTA curriculum are supported by the National Research Council’s National Science Education Standards. This expansion of HSTA programming will more directly impact the regular school science curriculum to emphasize inquiry and project-based science and includes a new partnership with the WVU Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health.
Phase II of this project supports the West Virginia University Health Science and Technology Academy (HSTA) in four West Virginia counties by developing student-created teacher-facilitated websites as part of local HSTA activities. Teachers and HSTA students will use these websites to disseminate academic enrichment materials and inquiry-based science projects to non-HSTA participants statewide. HSTA programming serves minority and financially disadvantaged students (grades 8-12) helping them to build self-esteem improve science and mathematical skills in preparations for college and choose appropriate health career majors. The HSTA organization will also provide teachers parents and community health professionals with increased knowledge technical resources and professional support to better encourage students to consider and prepare for careers in science and related fields.