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Thirteen Oregon Teachers Selected To Partner with OHSU Scientists In Unique, Professional Developmental Program

Experience will bring teachers into labs and scientists into classrooms in an effort to generate more excitement for science in Oregon schools

Thirteen Oregon middle school teachers have been selected to take part in a new, federally funded program at Oregon Health & Science University. The program is aimed at expanding teachers’ and students’ hands-on experience with scientific research and generating greater understanding and excitement for the field. The Teacher Institute for the Experience of Science (TIES) was formed through a grant from the National Institutes of Health, the country’s primary funding organization for medical research.

 “The 13 Oregon teachers, picked from a pool of roughly 30 applicants, will have a unique experience at OHSU. We are equally certain that OHSU scientists will learn from their partnering with these outstanding teachers as well,” explained Susan Shugerman, director of OHSU’s Office of Science Education Opportunities.

In this initial year, teachers in the TIES program will come from communities throughout the Portland metropolitan area. The program will immerse teachers in OHSU’s research labs and provide an ongoing partnership with both basic scientists and those who conduct clinical research in human patients. Following the summer experience, teachers will have various options for bringing their first-hand experience of science back into their classrooms. These options include classroom visits to OHSU, scientist presentations in the classrooms and an interactive classroom activity with Oregon Zoo experts.”

 “At a time when teacher resources are shrinking, TIES offers Oregon middle school teachers new, unique and exciting ways to help engage their students in science,” explained William Cameron, Ph.D., director of the TIES program and an associate professor of behavioral neuroscience, OHSU School of Medicine. “We have a vested interest in inspiring the next generation of scientists. It is our hope that we will give teachers a better understanding of what it takes to do science in our modern world and that the wonder of discovery will be sensed by the students that they touch. Beyond the classroom, we hope the students share the importance and excitement of scientific research with their families.”

During the first few years, the TIES program will focus on Portland-area teachers. However, in subsequent years, organizers plan to expand the program to include middle school teachers and their students from across the state.

Within the National Institutes of Health, the TIES program is supported by the National Center for Research Resources. It also is supported by OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center and its General Clinical Research Center, the sites responsible for conducting many of the country’s human clinical trials.

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