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August 04, 2009

Program targets minority male high school students

A new program designed to provide minority male high school students with hands-on science research experiences began in July at North Carolina State University.

The program is a partnership of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham. Called Creating Awareness of Agriculture and Life Science Disciplines, Discoveries and Degrees (CAALS3D), it is designed to introduce minority male high school students to innovative, high-tech research in the food, agricultural, environmental and life sciences.

Twenty-four School of Science and Math students spent a week in July (July 20-23) in N.C. State laboratories working under the guidance of N.C. State professors and graduate students. The high school students experienced research in a variety of disciplines, including forensic science, biochemistry, microbiology, biotechnology, organic agriculture, plant biology, food science, soil science and natural resources.

The School of Science and Math was the nation’s first public high school to offer a specialized curriculum in science and math for high school juniors and seniors, says Dr. Lisa Guion, associate professor of agricultural and extension education at N.C. State. Guion adds that American colleges and universities have found it difficult to recruit and retain minorities, particularly minority males, to study science, technology, engineering and math.

The CAALS3D program is designed to show students that an education in these fields can lead to a bright future, says Guion. The program targets male African-American, Latino and native American students who will be juniors this fall. It is to continue for two years, providing additional opportunities during the school year and summer for this group of students.

-D. Caldwell

Posted by Natalie at August 4, 2009 10:30 AM