Posted: June 02, 2005
HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER'S PROJECT SCORE RECEIVES FUNDING FOR CONTINUED SCIENCE EDUCATION AT AREA HIGH SCHOOLS
When Rusty Reeves, PhD, assistant professor of cell biology and genetics, received a message from the National Science Foundation that he needed to revise the budget for Project SCORE, it was good news. Revising the budget meant that the Project SCORE grant would likely be renewed. But it took several months before Dr. Reeves received the official news.
“GK-12” Project SCORE: Development of a Permanent Outreach Partnership between Teaching Fellows and Science Teachers/Students of the Fort Worth Independent School District was refunded from May 1, 2005 to April 30, 2006, receiving a total of $471,837. The grant began in March 2002 and will total close to $2 million for the life of the grant.
The grant provides eight stipends for graduate students and two undergraduate fellows from Texas Wesleyan University to be paired with a high school teacher in a fellowship program. These fellows spend 10 hours per week in the classroom teaching high school science students, which is a benefit to graduate students at the health science center, according to Dr. Reeves, who taught high school biology for six years in Waxahachie.
“There is very little opportunity for our graduate students to learn about teaching, so this program allows them to do that by teaching ninth and tenth grade students,” Dr. Reeves said.
Fort Worth high schools that participate in Project SCORE are Amon Carter-Riverside, North Side, Dunbar, Paschal, Eastern Hills and South Hills. The high schools have high minority populations averaging 85%, which is also a component of the grant – trying to improve minority student scores on the science component of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills examination.
According to Dr. Reeves, about 120 programs like Project SCORE exist throughout the United States, and in the last 10 years, science scores have been going up on standardized tests.
“That’s a drastic change, because they had been going down,” Dr. Reeves said. “Personally, I think it’s because of these programs.”
Project SCORE, Track II, which is the renewed grant, will include Reeves as principal investigator. Co-principal investigators for the grant will include Harold Sheedlo, PhD, associate professor of cell biology and genetics; Robert Kaman, JD, PhD; Mary Anne Clark, PhD, biology department at Texas Wesleyan University; Dorothy Thomas, MS, Fort Worth ISD’s program director for science education. Gary Scott, MS, will serve as program manager of the grant.
The goals of Project SCORE are to prepare fellows to serve as resources for ninth grade biology students and teachers in FWISD, to enhance the appreciation and understanding of science processes throughout FWISD’s science curriculum, and to ensure that NSF-supported SCORE program becomes a permanent part of the health science center culture.
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