June 19, 2012 | by City of Hope Staff
It used to be that kids with a curious mind about science had a range of choices to support their cravings, from Mr. Wizard to Bill Nye the Science Guy. These days, it seems easier to be a geek than a nerd. But if the 1980s taught us anything, it can be cool to be a nerd.
These cool kids may turn into the adults making major discoveries in labs tomorrow. That’s the hope of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which aims to stimulate kids’ and teens’ interest in science.
The NIH awarded City of Hope and the neighboring Duarte Unified School District a five-year, $1.3 million grant that creates partnerships among researchers, teachers, schools, museums, science centers and other education organizations to improve life science literacy in the U.S.
“One of the things really lacking in the profession of science is a pipeline of students — particularly under-represented minority students — who are enthusiastic about research,” said Susan Kane, Ph.D., professor in the Division of Tumor Cell Biology at City of Hope, who will oversee the grant.
This summer, 20 students who will be juniors and seniors next fall will work in City of Hope’s Community Teaching Laboratory. Next fall, Kane and her colleagues will visit second-grade classrooms in Duarte and bring fifth and eighth graders to City of Hope for an up-close science education.