During a Phase I study a Science Education Partnership was established between the UCSD School of Medicine and an urban San Diego high school. UCSD faculty selected for excellence in teaching are grouped into four educational units: Adolescent Health Biopsychology Cancer/Genetics and Infectious Diseases; each unit is assisted by the San Diego Science Alliance a consortium of over 150 biotechnology corporations institutions and foundations and by UCSD Student Health Advocates undergraduate UCSD students trained to teach health-related topics. Students enter the program in the 10th grade and receive didactic training in all four units. In the 11th grade students choose a specific unit and participate in small group seminars and in field trips relevant to their unit; in addition students present a talk on a health topic of their choice. In the 12th grade students present their talks to 5th-9th grade students but only after careful review of the talks by UCSD faculty and high school and elementary school teachers. Thus information the students have learned is disseminated to younger students and the program incorporates a carefully- supervised peer teaching model. Analysis of intermediatepoint data suggests the program has successfully increased students’ knowledge and interest in health-related careers. We have extended the program to a second urban high school and during Phase II we will continue to evaluate the full three year program to a second urban high school and during Phase II we will continue to evaluate the full three year program but we will also determine the efficacy of a one or two year program. In addition a public health organization will be established to allow the peer teaching paradigm to be expanded widely by having students generate educational materials to be provided to other schools. These materials will teach students about health issues will demonstrate to schools how to set up similar public health organizations and will prvide teachers detailed descriptions of strategies to integrate health- related issues into biology chemistry and coordinated science classes. As a result of data generated during the Phase I study a parent education program and a student summer research program will be added to the partnership.
This Phase II project is a collaboration between the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and two San Diego High Schools; Morse High School (with more than 90 percent minority students) and Helix High School (with approximately 50 percent minority students). A public health organization will be established to disseminate student-produced materials to other schools and develop strategies for teachers to integrate health-related issues into high school science courses. The project will also include a parent education program and a summer research program for minority youth to work in laboratories under the mentorship of a health care professional. The program is grouped into four educational units: Adolescent Health Biopsychology Cancer/Genetics and Infectious Diseases.