|Students from D.C.’s Whittier Elementary School prepare to work in a demo lab in the Natcher Bldg.
If you were in Bldg. 45 on Jan. 27, you probably
wondered what all the cheering was about. NIH’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management hosted 55 6th grade students at the NIH Visitor Center and Nobel Laureate Exhibit Hall, where they had an opportunity to dissect a sheep’s heart and a stingray. The center’s Sharon Greenwell led the lab session.
“It was a great learning experience for the students—you could hear the roar of excitement
and enthusiasm throughout the halls of the Natcher Conference Center,” noted an OEODM staffer.
In 2008, OEODM began a partnership with Whittier Elementary School in Washington, D.C. OEODM Director Lawrence Self initiated
the outreach in an effort to help build the pipeline of potential biomedical researchers.
He believes a “spark of interest in science begins at an early age.” The program has proven to be a substantive and beneficial partnership in which Whittier students are exposed to the adventure of science and can envision a career in scientific research.
A substantial part of the outreach program is dedicated to interactive learning sessions and enhancement activities. Students can gain insight into the exciting applications of science right in their own classroom or in a lab hosted by an NIH scientist.
The program kicked off in 2010 with Searching for the Allergen, a hands-on demonstration of the importance of proper patient identification and sample collection.
Coming up next, Dr. David Vannier of NIH’s Office of Science Education will visit Whittier
to conduct a teachers workshop on supplemental
science education materials and how to use them.
If you are a scientist interested in working with young students, call (301) 496-1552.
|At left, an organ dissection gets under way.
At right, Sharon Greenwell (c) of NIH’s Visitor Center and Nobel Laureate Exhibition Hall conducts a lab session with budding young scientists.