Queen’s aims to get students hooked on science early
A joint effort with Stevenson Middle School aims to cultivate future careers in health care
The Queen's Medical Center and Stevenson Middle School have developed an educational program to spark interest in science and health care among native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students.
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute awarded $747,644 to Queen's to support the program.
Queen's sought the grant to increase representation of native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in health care professions and reduce health disparities.
The goal, officials said, is to give students a more solid science foundation in middle school years that they can build on it in high school and college.
The five-year program will begin in the 2007-08 school year with a science and health care curriculum for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.
Dr. Richard Kasuya, director of the Office of Medical Education, University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, is working with Stevenson Middle School science teacher Malcolm Cogbill on the curriculum.
Queen's will host a "Family Health and Science Night" for students and their families and a teacher/medical professional exchange program.
Supplemental funding will be available for science faculty and student science fair projects.
Out of 297 institutions that submitted proposals last year to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Queen's was one of 31 institutions to be awarded a grant.
Dr. Gerard Akaka, Queen's interim vice president for medical affairs, said, "We are very pleased that the Howard Hughes Medical Institute recognized the importance of our program.
"Our mission at Queen's is to improve the overall health of Hawaii's people. There are terrific opportunities for young people in health care professions and we feel that if more native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders work in these areas, the trickle-down effect will lead to better health education and healthier lifestyles throughout these communities."
Gregg Lee, Stevenson principal, said the collaborative effort will enable the school "to promote health literacy and opportunities for students to enter the biomedical professional fields.
"We are excited about the comprehensive approach to addressing an identified community need."