Center for Science Education

high school science class

Our Mission

Within the United States, we face growing demand for passionate, diverse, and skilled biomedical scientists and healthcare providers, yet too few young people pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Attrition in STEM between middle school and early college is particularly concerning, especially amongst BIPOC, women, and first-generation college students, who are among those most likely to switch careers away from science and health. While many societal and individual factors play a role, broadening participation clearly requires expanding access to high quality learning and mentoring opportunities that increase student interest, self-efficacy, and 21st century scientific literary skills.

Synergizing with the primary mission of the Department of Medical Education to educate a diverse population of healthcare leaders, the Center for Science Education (CSE) was founded in 2009 to design and study new approaches to engage high school students from under-resourced and underrepresented backgrounds in science. To accomplish this, the CSE leverages collaborative partnerships that bridge the divide between biomedical scientists, high school educators, and education researchers.

Our Programs

The CSE is the home of multiple programs that span formal and informal science education spaces. These include:

  • The Great Diseases - A full year curriculum for Biology II classrooms focusing on infectious diseases, neurological disorders, metabolic diseases and cancer.
  • Teaching the Great Diseases - An online graduate program for science teachers interested in teaching about health topics.
  • BioScann - A classroom-based digital role-play experience that integrates career awareness and data analysis. BioScann provides an opportunity for students to imagine themselves in STEM careers and practice the skills necessary for those jobs.
  • Mini-Med School - A two week program offered online and in-person that engages highly motivated students in medical school experiences. Mini-Med School showcases a range of health careers.