Anatomy of a successful K-12 Educational Outreach Program in the Health Sciences: Eleven Years’ Experience at One Medical Sciences Campus
The Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is the administrative home of a nationally recognized educational outreach program in the health sciences for K-12 teachers (includes school nurses, counselors, etc.) and students. This program is called the Partners in Health Sciences (PIHS) program. It began in the summer of 1991 and is based on an annual needs assessment of the state’s teachers. PIHS is a program available to all teachers and students in the state. It has several different components: (1) a cafeteria of 21 days of mini-courses offered in the summer to meet the professional development needs of K-12 biology/health teachers and other school personnel; (2) weekly, interactive telecommunication broadcasts for students during the academic year; (3) intensive, 5-day workshops that train five selected teachers at a time (10 per year) to use an authoring software program to develop grade-appropriate interactive, computer-assisted, instructional (CAI) modules for Internet (http://k12education.uams.edu) use by teachers and students; (4) a monthly science night for students and their parents at a local science magnet high school; (5) field trips to the UAMS campus for teachers and their students; (6) community-requested presentations by program faculty; and (7) availability of earning undergraduate and graduate credit for science education majors in the College of Education, University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The data presented in this report span the period from 1991 through 2001. For all program activities, 14,084 different participants have consumed a total of 50,029 hours of education.