Since 1991, the Science Education Partnership has helped foster partnerships between research scientists and over 500 secondary school science teachers in Washington State. Through workshops and a science mentor program, teachers learn molecular biology techniques and participate in laboratory research. In addition, participating in SEP allows mentor scientists to hone their teaching skills and learn about middle and high school science education.
Each spring, mentor scientists located at Fred Hutch and our partner sites select teachers to participate in the Science Education Partnership. Teachers and mentor scientists collaborate to design a research experience that is tailored to the individual interests of each teacher.
This arrangement often leads to lasting partnerships that extend beyond the summer session to include classroom visits by scientists during the school year. Perhaps more importantly, these partnerships have helped to dispel some of the common stereotypes that each group perceives about the other. The diversity of research projects over the past several years has been enormous and has included such topics as protein structure, DNA sequencing, yeast genetics, fruit fly development, and oncogenes.