K-12 (Kindergarden to 12th grade) is shorthand for
the precollege years, when students lay the groundwork for future
academic work. One of our goals is to increase interest and participation
in science careers, in particular among underrepresented minorities.
We believe the time to start encouraging future scientists is during
the K-12 years. How can this interest be nurtured? Teachers report
that students begin to lose interest in the sciences in middle school.
The transition from high school to college can be difficult. Teachers
are eager to explore new teaching techniques and tools that excite
student learning, but often have limited time to develop new skills.
Our programs focus on these very concerns. The Preparatory Research
Enhancement Program (PREP) is open to underrepresented minority students attending
partner high schools in the Atlanta area. The GIFT program benefits
students by providing teachers with professional development opportunities,
which include research internships, active learning workshops and
awards to enhance the classroom environment. And the
offers teachers and graduate student fellows the latest on advances
in problem-based learning and investigative case creation to transform the
way science in taught in the K-12 classroom.