The Waksman Student Scholars Program (WSSP) is in its seventh year. The investigators initiated the WSSP to encourage research by high school students and to forge close ties between the scientific community and the schools. The Program jointly conceived developed and conducted by a scientist and an educator has worked with 34 schools more than 322 students and dozens of experienced and prospective teachers. WSSP has achieved a close partnership with administrators teachers and students from schools in urban and suburban districts in New Jersey. By engaging students and teachers directly in genuine scientific research the investigators hope to infuse more of the spirit and vitality of science into high school classrooms. The long-range goal of the application is to disseminate the WSSP from the immediate environs of Rutgers to classrooms across the country and beyond. Focusing on a problem that takes advantage of the advancing Human Genome Project the WSSP will use Internet-based tools and resources to support research in Molecular Biology by high school students and teachers throughout the nation. The specific objective of the application is to develop resources that will allow schools to participate in the WSSP at remote sites-anywhere there are Internet connections. Several resources will be developed during the project period. These are an Internet textbook laboratory manual research guide Web-based tutorials and examinations on-line technical help and an on-line forum. The “Beginners Bioinformation” “Molecular Milestones” “Waksman Challenges” and “Rutgers Student Journal” will also be completed.
The basic tenet of the Waksman Student Scholars Program (WSSP) which has recently entered its eighth year is that students learn science best by actively engaging in it. This means investigating unsolved challenging problems and discussing prospective solutions within a community. The aim of this project is to expand the WSSP from its current local venue so that it can reach any student who can connect to the Internet. To accomplish this goal WSSP proposes to offer the Program in a new distance-education course called Genes Genomes and Human Genetics. The course will be supported by a comprehensive series of Internet-based resources.