The School of Medicine plans to use a four-year, $300,000 grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to strengthen its ongoing partnership with New Haven’s Career High School. “This new funding allows us to continue to do year-round activities with students interested in going into the health professions from Career High School,” said Liza Cariaga-Lo, Ph.D., director of multicultural affairs and director of the collaboration with the high school. The grant is awarded to medical schools and research centers around the country to promote and improve science education in elementary and secondary schools.

The new funding, Cariaga-Lo said, will help expand a two-year-old program that brings students from Career High School to the medical school each summer for a residential program in biology and chemistry. It has grown from a two-week program with 15 students to a three-week program with 33 participants. Next summer the program will expand to four weeks, with up to 75 students, she said.

In addition, the medical school plans to implement in the next academic year a scholar-fellow program called Science Collaboration Hands-On Learning and Research, SCHOLAR, to train up to five public-school teachers in inquiry-based and problem-based learning techniques. There also will be a series of professional development workshops to train New Haven teachers in ways to incorporate problem-based activities into the classroom. “This is an opportunity for us to utilize the resources we have at the Medical School and the University to help improve and enhance educational reform in New Haven, specifically at Career High School,” Cariaga-Lo said.