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Award Abstract #0737668

The Harlem Children Society (HCS) Science and Engineering Mentoring Program

Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL)
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Initial Amendment Date: July 2, 2008
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Latest Amendment Date: December 31, 2009
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Award Number: 0737668
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Award Instrument: Continuing grant
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Program Manager: David B. Campbell
DRL Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL)
EHR Directorate for Education & Human Resources
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Start Date: July 1, 2008
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End Date: June 30, 2011 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $883,410.00
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Investigator(s): SAT BHATTACHARYA bhattacs@harlemchildrensociety.org (Principal Investigator)
Thomas Brennan (Co-Principal Investigator)
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536 East 82nd Street, Suite # 5F
New York, NY 10028-7130 (646)643-8563
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NSF Program(s): ITEST
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Program Reference Code(s): 9177, SMET
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Program Element Code(s): 7227



Proposal # 0737668

PI Name Bhattacharya, Sat

Institution Harlem Children?s Society (HSC)

Title HCS Science and Engineering Mentoring Program

Project Summary

The Harlem Children Society (HC) was established in 2000 with 3 students from 2 schools by a research scientist at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The project now serves 183 students from over 50 schools with 250 mentors at 50 institutions. HCS seeks NSF support to focus on the critical IT skills involved in bioinformatics, molecular biology, and protein chemistry, and on the innovative uses of technology for collaboration, communication, and community involvement. The goal is to have the students pursue IT and STEM education through high school and into college, and persist in the science track to careers or other applications using this training.

The 3-year ITEST project will engage three cohorts of 50 students each, for a total of 150 students, drawn from New York. The target population is low-income and minority high school students, ages 14-18, in grades 9-12 with demonstrated interest and capacity in science from under resourced inner city and rural communities. All participants are from families with incomes below the US poverty guidelines?$35,000 or less for a family of four.

Project components include (1) Coursework - the project will offer intensive, college-level course material in studies of bioinformatics, protein chemistry, and molecular biology to first year students in the weekly seminar. Students will obtain college credit for their research work from Bronx Community College, City College of New York, or the State University of New York at Albany. (2) Internships. ? At the outset of the program students will be assigned mentors, who will train them on research content and safe and proper handling of devices, instruments, and materials. Most students will join an existing research team with a defined research agenda. (3) Career orientation - Project staff/mentors will counsel students on course taking, college options, financial planning and career possibilities. (4) Communications Skills Training ? Participants will communicate with each other using IT to construct a map of their research projects, and form online communities to exchange information. They will learn to communicate scientific information to professional and lay audiences, and will present their work?at their schools, to their peers, and at professional conferences. (5) Family involvement - Families and communities will learn about student career options in IT and STEM; how to support them and the relevance of S&T to society and to their own communities. Families will be involved in the planning of the street fairs, and invited to special guest lectures. The project will work with local parent organizations, and community based groups to design strategies for reaching and involving families. Parents will be asked to keep journals and portfolios about their children?s experiences, and their own histories and reflections on science, technology, and society. (6) Science Street Fairs. These innovative events will bring high-level science, cutting edge technology, and compelling issues directly to the public.

Products. The project will produce on-line resources for involving high school-age young people in IT-intensive research experiences, including protocols for training high school students in scientific research methods and technologies; syllabi for mini-courses in the content knowledge of protein chemistry, molecular biology, and bioinformatics; examples of student projects and parent reflections; tools for project implementation; a journal; and podcasts.

Evaluation. Project Evaluation will be conducted by project staff, invited mentors, etc. and an external evaluator, who will utilize a mixed method research design to collect qualitative and quantitative data to assess the implementation and impact of the program.


Please report errors in award information by writing to: awardsearch@nsf.gov.



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