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ESRAP Encourages High School Students to Pursue Science Careers

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 Students from Bladensburg High School listen to graduate student Jocelyn Reader speak about genetics.
 

Eleventh graders from Bladensburg High School in Prince George's County paid a visit to the School of Medicine October 30th to learn more about careers in science and medicine. The visit was sponsored by ESRAP, the Exploration in Science Research Awareness Program, and included presentations from – and small group discussions with – graduate students doing research in different science fields.

 

"The purpose of ESRAP is to provide high school students with first hand knowledge of the research that is conducted in various laboratories on the UMB campus and to acquaint them with mentoring and research opportunities on our campus. PhD and MD/PhD students in the graduate school at the School of Medicine go to high schools and present their research to the high school students," explains Charity Ogunbo, program coordinator for ESRAP. "We want to encourage high school kids and let them know there are opportunities out there for them, that they can make it to college and beyond. We expose them to current research, as well as how to get into programs they are interested in – how to apply – and the options for financial aid for undergraduate and graduate school."

 

Members of the PROMISE – MAGEP (Maryland’s Alliance of Graduate Education and the Professoriate) program at UMB started ESRAP in spring of 2007 with students from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, but other schools were quick to show interest. "We try to limit it to schools within Baltimore, because of distance since this is purely voluntary, so we don’t want them to have to drive too far," says Ogunbo. "But if other schools in other counties are interested, we can arrange a visiting day like we're having today, and they can come here."

 

This is evidence that PROMISE – MAGEP, a program funded by the NSF, is reaching out not only to our minority graduate students, empowering them and providing experiences not hitherto available; It is also reaching out to the community to enable a group of High School students, many of which are under-represented minorities, to glimpse a future in research.

 

For more information on ESRAP, please visit their website at http://medschool.umaryland.edu/esrap/.

Contact

Caelie Haines
Manager, Public Affairs
(410) 706-7508
chaines@som.umaryland.edu

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