NEW ORLEANS –Ochsner Health System and the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) are recruiting area biology teachers to participate in a unique professional development workshop as part of the BEST Science! (Bioscience Enrichment for Students and Teachers) program supported by the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institutes of Health. Sixteen high school biology teachers will be selected for the weeklong (June 10- June 14) workshop, in which they will receive information about the latest advances in biological science and medicine and hands-on training in cutting-edge technologies that are translatable to the science classroom. Teachers will receive a $900 stipend for attending the workshop, implementing the learning modules in their classrooms and completing the final evaluation.
“This is a terrific opportunity for our local educators and we are pleased to offer them and the school systems this level of support and assistance,” says Dr. Jawed Alam, Director of the Institute of Translational Research at Ochsner. “It is through these types of programs that we can spark an interest in science among the area’s youth and hopefully ensure the development of future scientists and physicians.”
Applications for the summer workshop are being accepted now. Anyone interested in applying should contact Allison Sharai at ASharai@ochsner.org or visit the BEST Science! website http://www.ochsner.org/BESTScience. The deadline to submit applications is Friday, March 15th.
The summer workshop for teachers is just the beginning of the local impact expected from the $1.25 million 5- year award. BEST Science! is projected to impact over 11,000 students and 130 teachers in the Greater New Orleans area over the next five years. The program includes hands-on laboratory modules directly aligned with Louisiana grade-level expectations and laboratory supply kits available on loan during the academic school year. In addition, scientists, physicians and other faculty from Ochsner, LSUHSC and other local institutions of higher learning will participate in the summer workshops and provide assistance to teachers and students throughout the school year.
The overall objective of BEST Science! is to advance an interest in biomedical research and health sciences by New Orleans area high school students and to ultimately stimulate further education and vocation in these areas.
The program is administered by Ochsner’s Academic Division and is a partnership between Ochsner Medical Center, LSUHSC and local school districts. Dr. Jawed Alam, and Dr. Paula Gregory, Associate Professor of Genetics at LSUHSC, serve as co-principal investigators of the project.
Only 16 SEPA grants were awarded nationwide in 2012, and the grant to Ochsner is one of only two awarded in the entire state of Louisiana to date; LSUHSC-Shreveport received a SEPA grant in 2010 for the community education project called Biostart: Clinical Research and Education Experiences.
For more information about Academic Outreach at Ochsner or to get involved, please contact Allison Sharai at EducationOutreach@ochsner.org or visit the Academic Outreach website (http://academics.ochsner.org/outreach.aspx).
For more information about the NIH SEPA program, visit http://www.nihsepa.org.
About Academic Outreach
Academic Outreach, a unit of the Community Outreach Department of Ochsner Clinic Foundation, serves the community and maintains Ochsner’s position as a global academic leader by supporting educational development, providing unique academic resources, and connecting students and teachers with innovative academic opportunities. Academic Outreach supports the advancement of K-12 science and health career education in the New Orleans Metropolitan Area through the STAR summer scholars program, iLab outreach student laboratory, job shadow and field trip programs, and numerous school district and individual school partnerships that reach almost 2,000 students each year.
Ochsner Health System is southeast Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system with eight hospitals and 38 health centers in Louisiana. Ochsner has been named the Consumer Choice for Healthcare in New Orleans for 16 consecutive years and is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a “Best Hospital” across 11 specialty categories. Ochsner employs more than 13,000 employees, over 850 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts over 300 clinical research trials annually. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.