Public Health Organization at Morse and Helix High Schools — Phase I

  • Abstract

    A science education partnership will be established between the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Samuel F.B. Morse High School in San Diego (hereafter referred to as UCSD and Morse respectively). UCSD is well-known for its excellence in biomedical research and Morse is a large urban school with greater than 90 percent minority students and is the center of a school cluster that includes more than 17000 students. Selected UCSD faculty dedicated to excellence in teaching and increasing minority student interest in biomedical science will assist in establishing a student-run Public Health Organization at Morse. The UCSD faculty will be grouped into four major educational units: Biopsychology Cancer/Genetics Infectious Diseases and Reproductive Health. Approximately 72 students at Morse will enter the Public Health Organization in tenth grade and receive didactic training in all four educational units. The students will then chose an area of interest in the eleventh grade e.g. substance abuse and receive in-depth training in the educational unit corresponding to their interest area e.g. Biopsychology. In the twelfth grade students will be expected to disseminate the knowledge accrued in the two previous years to elementary and middle grade students in the Morse Cluster. Because it is necessary that students progress through the program in a linear fashion two tenth grade classes two eleventh grade classes and one independent study class in the twelfth grade will participate in the Public Health Organization during the three year tenure of the grant. A comprehensive pre- intra-and post-evaluation process will be incorporated into the project. It is the basic tenet of this application that students learn best when they must teach and that peer-based teaching is highly successful. It is anticipated that participation in the Public Health Organization will greatly increase student interest in biomedical/biopsychological sciences and threby increase the number of students selecting a health-related career