The UAB Center for Community Outreach Development (CORD) has received a five-year, $1.4 million grant for a new program designed to enhance science education for Birmingham’s middle-school students and increase the number of minorities in the biomedical sciences.

The Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Research Resources will fund CORD’s new UAB Birmingham Science Education Partnership: Middle School Inquiry-Based Learning Program. The program will assist Birmingham City middle-school science teachers in incorporating more hands-on science activities into their classroom lesson plans.

In addition, the program will give Birmingham City school children in grades 6-8 the opportunity to attend the annual CORD Summer Science Camps and offer health literacy education for parents and the general public. The goals are to encourage more minorities to seek careers in the biomedical sciences and to improve health literacy.

The UAB Birmingham Science Education Partnership is an alliance of UAB, Birmingham City Schools and McWane Center. UAB Professor Michael Wyss, director of CORD, and UAB Assistant Professor Mary B. Williams, in the department of biochemistry & molecular genetics, will direct the program.

CORD is a universitywide center dedicated to advancing the outreach efforts of UAB in the Birmingham community by developing academic programs in partnership with Birmingham area schools.
CORD also hosts a Summer Science Institute for 100 high school students. The students attend seminars and conduct laboratory experiments in biochemistry and molecular biology.