Opening the Pipeline for Native High Schools
Selected Native communities and schools have established a partnership with Harvard University (under the auspices of the Harvard University Native American Program and Harvard Medical School [HMS]) to create a pilot summer program “Phase I: Opening the Pipeline for Native High Schools.” The Program’s major goals are to improve the opportunity for (1) Native American high school students to engage in science education and pursue careers in the biomedical sciences at leading institutions and (2) to provide training to their teachers in the content and pedagogical methods of biomedical sciences. The students and teachers will be housed in Cambridge and attend classes at HMS. The program building upon earlier smaller programs will consist of two three-week sessions each accommodating 20 students and 4 teachers. The Native communities will determine the selection of the students teachers and biomedical science topics. To address the first major goal the program aims to familiarize students with life at a large urban university (demystify higher education); enhance the students’ knowledge of biomedical science through lectures similar to those they will encounter in college and through Case-Based Learning (CBL) which demonstrates the relevance of science to real life problems; help students improve their learning skills; challenge students to think explicitly about their future plans and to raise their sights; and encourage students’ later attendance at Harvard Summer School. In addition students will undertake individual projects which they will present in a PowerPoint talk in a Final-Day Symposium and will also devise and present a play. To address the second major goal the program aims to enhance teachers’ knowledge base in biomedical science; train teachers in designing and implementing CBL in their classrooms; help teachers analyze their pedagogical methods and incorporate new ones. In addition a Tribal Professional will attend for one week to lead dscussions about the community impact of the specified health-related topic.