NIH awards $13 million for science education projects

December 21, 2005

To increase public understanding of science and to encourage student interest in research careers, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) today announced it will provide $13 million to fund a dozen Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPA). The programs will target K-12 students and teachers, as well as visitors to science centers and museums across the country. Many of the projects are designed to reach underserved, minority populations that have been historically less likely to pursue science careers. In addition, SEPA partnerships develop projects that educate the general public about health and disease, with the aim to help people make better lifestyle choices.

This is the second round of FY 2005 awards for the initiative, which is administered by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a part of the NIH.

"The SEPA Program is an important part of our public outreach efforts. It's critical to the future of the nation's health that Americans have a better understanding of clinical research and the life sciences in general," said NIH Director Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni. "By combining the talents and expertise of researchers, teachers, and museum specialists, these programs create excitement about scientific discoveries and deliver important health information to a wide spectrum of audiences."

SEPA grants provide from two to five years of support. In the initial three-year phase, SEPA programs form partnerships among biomedical and clinical researchers, educators, community groups, and other interested organizations to create programs that provide a better understanding of scientific research. In the second two-year phase of the program, these SEPA-generated curricula are more broadly disseminated to students, teachers, and the general public.

New FY 2005 Science Education Partnership Awards:
Bridgewater State College (Bridgewater, Mass.)
CityLab Biotech for Students and Teachers

Children's Museum of Houston (Houston, Texas)
Powerplay: Kids Measuring Their Bodies' Responses to Physical Challenges

Exploratorium (San Francisco, Calif.)
Microscope Imaging Station

Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences (Washington, D.C.)
Diseases and Decisions: The Current Science on Emerging Threats Exhibition

Maryland Science Center (Baltimore, Md.)
Cellular Universe: The Promise of Stem Cells

Milwaukee School of Engineering (Milwaukee, Wis.)
From Bench to Bedside: Molecular Stories of Research-Based Health Care

Ohio University (Athens, Ohio)
Impacting K-12 Learning Environments

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (Portland, Ore.)
Small Museum Research Collaborative: Exhibit-based Outreach

University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, Calif.)
Educating High School Students and Their Families about Clinical Research

University of Montana (Missoula, Mont.)
Environmental Health Science Education for Rural Youth

University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Neb.)
Breaking Barriers: Health Science Education in Native American Communities

University of Wyoming (Laramie, Wyo.)
Enhancing Biomedical Science Awareness and Understanding in Wyoming
Full Description of Projects:

For more information about SEPA, visit Application details are available at

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) provides laboratory scientists and clinical researchers with environments and tools that they can use to prevent, detect, and treat a wide range of diseases. This support enables discoveries that begin at the molecular and cellular level, move to animal-based studies, and then are translated to patient-oriented clinical research, resulting in cures and treatments for both common and rare diseases. NCRR connects researchers with patients and communities across the nation to bring the power of shared resources and research to improve human health. For more information, visit

NIH/National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)

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