Pathways seeks to address two critical issues that are local and national in scope – promoting diversity in the scientific workforce and closing the achievement gap. It does this by combining robust science learning opportunities for high school students from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences with an intensive professional development program for San Francisco Unified School District teachers and UCSF scientist volunteers. This professional development program will focus on research-based strategies to promote equity in the classroom and student academic success in science. The project brings teachers and scientists together in a year-long classroom-based partnership that will use current discoveries in biomedical research to develop high school students’ understanding of the concepts in the California Science Content Standards; the dynamic nature of scientific progress; and how modern biology relates both to their own lives and to advances in patient care. In its five years Pathways will provide about 2000 high school students with opportunities to investigate scientific questions while developing sustained relationships with scientist role models. Project outcomes will be assessed through rigorous evaluation.
The Science & Health Education Partnership of the University of California at San Francisco in strong collaboration with the San Francisco Unified School District proposes a National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award Phase I/II Project Pathways: Promoting Access to the Health Sciences through Partnership. Pathways seeks to address an issue of critical local and national need – providing students from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences with access to high quality science instruction that will promote student success in science and reduce the achievement gap. In this effort we define student success broadly to refer to students’ scientific literacy and thinking skills their understanding of both the process of science as well as scientific content and their interest in and excitement about science. Pathways has five interrelated specific aims: 1) provide high school students especially those from groups underrepresented in the sciences with rigorous science learning experiences and develop their academic science skills 2) develop strong scientist-teacher partnerships grounded in equitable science teaching strategies and research 3) build a collaborative community focused on promoting academic success in science for all students 4) evaluate all Pathways components and 5) disseminate broadly Pathways materials and successful program elements and strategies. The Pathways approach is unique: it brings teachers and scientists together in an intensive partnership to learn about and test strategies for promoting student success in science; based in the California Science Content Standards it uses current research discoveries to develop lessons that reflect the dynamic nature of scientific progress; and it uses rigorous evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the Pathways model. This project is relevant to and will benefit public health in two primary ways. First it seeks to increase high school students’ understanding of currentbiomedical research discoveries and how these discoveries relate both to their own lives and advances in patient care. Second educators participating in the program will learn strategies to promote the success of underrepresented students in science and reduce the achievement gap – educational attainment correlates strongly with both access to health care and insurance as well as with overall health.
high Schhol Life Sciences and/or Health Career Pathways Teachers and their students Students’ family members Earyl Career Scientists (graduate students and postdoctoral fellows)