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Minority Led Program Partnership Model for Integration of NanoBiotechnology among Research Centers and the K-12 Classroom

Overview:

The State of Alabama has committed to expanding and sustaining its bioscience and nanotechnology resources, providing opportunities for K-20 synergism and leveraging of state resources. With an ultimate objective to have all students prepared and well grounded in math and science technology, thereby improving the economic landscape for future scientists, researchers, and technicians, this MSP-Start project is researching, planning, and developing a full MSP Partnership between an EPSCoR program, nano- and biotechnology industries in Alabama, the Alabama Department of Education, and Alabama public school systems. A distinctive characteristic of this work is that it brings together the highly organized Alabama Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ALEPSCoR) into a partnership to promote STEM education in K-12 schools, with a vision of using ALEPSCoR programming and institutions to raise academic standards and student performance. The long-term goals of the new partnership are:

1. To improve current K-12 programs by raising student achievement levels through cooperation of existing NSF-supported nanotechnology, biotechnology and sensor ALEPSCoR research groups, the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI), and school districts throughout Alabama.

2. To change the culture of higher education through training of ALEPSCoR-sponsored graduate students - the next generation of researchers and innovators - on education and outreach activities.

3. To research and evaluate a method for incorporating EPSCoR research-based activities into K-12 programs in other EPSCoR states as an innovative partnership model.

The MSP-Start project builds on existing educational partnerships to form a comprehensive new MSP Partnership, through a process led by Alabama teachers and faculty at Tuskegee University, Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Auburn University, and campuses of the University of Alabama system. The scope of work for the participants in the MSP-Start project is to develop plans to leverage their strengths while evolving the new partnership, especially addressing all of the components of the national MSP program.