Community outreach is one of the three pillars of the central mission of the NCTRI. The primary goal is to increase public understanding of and support for basic and clinical research in the reproductive sciences. Each center has developed community outreach and education programs. The center researchers participate in community outreach and education efforts to increase awareness and convey the importance and implications of their research activities to the general public.
The UCSF Center has a partnership with four established programs at UCSF: the Science and Educational Partnership (SEP; high school interns), the departmental Undergraduate Research Internship (URI; undergraduate interns), the San Francisco State Bridges Program (undergraduate interns), and the San Francisco State-UCSF NIH BUILD Program (Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity; undergraduate interns). The Center provides an innovative, formal, intensive summer research and didactic experience that educates and trains students in various aspects of reproduction research. To promote community involvement in NCTRI activities and to promote reproductive science literacy in the Bay Area, the Center's outreach and education program highlights student research and other UCSF NCTRI Center research through public presentations by interns and NCTRI members, and through participation in activities hosted by the Bay Area Science Festival. Their programs provide a rich cross-generational and cross-educational mentoring and teaching experience, highlight the center's passion for basic and translational reproduction research, and engage the Bay Area community to participate directly in NCTRI Center activities.
The School District of Philadelphia, our city’s schools, currently has tremendous budget cuts that directly result in under-resourced science classrooms. In addition, attracting the next generation into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers is a fundamental issue facing today’s educators. It is because of these barriers throughout a student’s educational career that the outreach core will build a biological science pipeline for local, under-served high school youth to gain the research skills to be successful in other rigorous science programs, college courses, and the workforce. The Penn Center's outreach and education programs include the continuation of two successful outreach projects funded by the P50-HD06817 grant - Project BioEYES, the week-long biology experiment which occurs in classrooms during the school day with the addition of epigenetic presentations, and the Penn Academy for Reproductive Sciences (PARS), the Saturday program at UPenn. In addition, the Center expands the outreach program to include a formalized 8-week summer internship for PARS alumnae in co-Investigators’ laboratories. The result of the outreach efforts is a series of science exposures that first target city biology classrooms and then offer specialized opportunities for high school women who have a genuine interest in science and research.
The outreach and education aim to achieve the following objectives: 1) continuation of our popular Beaverton-area "Science Cafe" series, marketed to adults and high school students, which features evening lectures given by reproductive scientists from ONPRC and OHSU on topics of basic science concepts and reproductive health issues; 2) expanding the Science Café series into a strategic new geographical venue, in Salem, OR; 3) offering a free Summer Teacher Workshop to demonstrate the “ART of Reproduction” curriculum and encourage high school teachers to incorporate reproductive biology into their classes; 4) continuing our "Infertility Saturday Academy" for high school students, consisting of six Saturdays of lecture and hands-on activities covering the topics of infertility and fertility control; 5) maintaining a strong on-line presence to provide curricular materials for educators, information for website visitors, and promote our programs to the general public; 6) developing a series of discrete science lessons for adults, consisting of 3-hour classes that will feature cutting-edge reproductive science topics taught by research scientists and supported by hands-on laboratory activities, and; 7) offering a series of "Mother-Daughter Science Saturday" events, similar in content to the "Science Saturdays," but marketed exclusively to women and their daughters/mothers. The impact of our programs on attendees will be evaluated using pre- and post-tests.
The Education and Outreach Program is designed to engage three important communities: the general public, including women most impacted by uterine fibroids; students in the Chicago area; and the scientific and medical community. The goal is to (i) raise awareness, education, and outreach regarding uterine fibroids and disparities around uterine fibroids; (ii) promote diverse participation in uterine fibroid and reproductive research; (iii) increase the number of benches and translational science research opportunities in uterine fibroids with a special focus on minority and underserved students by partnering with key local pipeline programs to connect students to bench science opportunities within our Center. Through a community-engaged approach (e.g., community-based participatory design), the Center seeks to increase awareness, education, and participation in uterine fibroid research amongst women, especially those from populations bearing the greatest burden of the disease. The Center supports the engagement of underrepresented students in the scientific research workforce. Building on decades of experience with community-engaged research, outreach, and workforce development, the Education and Outreach team provides lab experiences to support this pipeline.
The primary goals of the Education and Outreach efforts are to promote a better understanding of issues concerning reproductive health and infertility in low-income, underserved communities and by middle school and high school students, as well as by adults. Specific activities include the following: (1) to hold community meetings in each of three health clinics in underserved communities in Pittsburgh to provide information about the causes and treatments of male infertility, (2) to develop three new hands-on science activities that teach about male reproductive biology and the genetic causes of infertility including a testis histology lab, a mock male fertility work-up lab, and a DNA isolation, sequencing and finger-printing lab, as well as a new lecture on the effects of environmental exposures on the epigenome and potential consequences for fertility and offspring, (3) develop a Teacher’s Workshop curriculum to educate middle and high school teachers about male reproductive biology and the genetic causes of infertility and to provide them with adequate background to run these activities in their classrooms in Pittsburgh, Ithaca, New York and St. Louis, and (4) to deliver labs to reach an average of 1,000 students/year and an average of 150 adults/year in Pittsburgh in collaboration with Pitt Science Outreach, and facilitate delivery of labs to students in Pittsburgh, Ithaca, New York and St. Louis through teacher training with a goal of reaching an additional 400 students/year in underserved communities in all regions associated with this P50.
This Center's outreach and education programs are designed to disseminate information on the effects of lifestyles on the epigenetic regulation of sperm gene expression that may be transmitted to the next generation. Their slogan is: “Healthy lifestyle, Healthy sperm epigenome, Healthy babies”. Building on their prior collaboration and community-academic partnership, they have designed their programs with the following goals: 1) Promote and sustain bidirectional knowledge sharing between the community and academic institutions by providing opportunities for networking and developing a community-specific dissemination plan for evidence-based information on how obesity and inactivity change the sperm epigenome transmitting unhealthy phenotype and epigenotype to the next generation. 2) Create educational programs, workshops and conferences to engage younger adults, college and high school students (future parents) to disseminate information on “healthy lifestyles, healthy reproductive epigenome; healthy babies”. With community partners, they conduct community-partnered research conferences and workshops for younger adults, and Summer Fellowship Program for high school and college students to provide knowledge transfer on the impact of environment on epigenetics. 3) Develop a community-focused website for the Center for Male Reproductive Genomics. Working with our community partners, academic partners at UC Riverside and the University of Texas, San Antonio, they developed a culturally and racially sensitive website to provide information on the role of epigenomics in reproductive health in general and the impact of sperm epigenomics on next generation’s health. 4) Establish the governance and operation structure of the Community Core Advisory Council that strengthens existing partnerships and builds new bridges between the community and academia for education and research.
The goal of this Center's outreach and education efforts is to enhance and expand upon Fall into Science, a K-12 outreach program established by the Director. More than 120 students have participated in Fall into Science since its founding six years ago, and the group has made presentations to more than 1800 area students. The program recruits students from other graduate Fields on campus, expanding their ongoing outreach activities and develop new programming. They also work with existing groups on campus with established records of performing K-12 outreach. In addition, they develop new relationships with schools in more rural communities to reach out to new audiences. They will also develop new, reproductive biology-oriented activities to teach fundamental principles of reproductive biology to middle school students.
The Education/Outreach program has the following three aims: 1) maintain engagement with patient groups and build on our long history of patient collaboration and co-creation. Engagement with patient communities is essential for ensuring that research findings can be effectively translated into meaningful improvement in health and wellbeing. Deliverables from this aim will provide an evidence base informing best practices/approaches for engaging geographically dispersed patient populations. 2) Develop concise, evidence-based guidance for referring providers to return genetic test results to patients. 3) Curate and co-create patient materials and disseminate to patients, families, and clinicians via a user-friendly website built on ‘design thinking’ (user-centered design).
The Center's Education/Outreach Program is intended to educate students, teachers and adults in the San Diego community about reproductive science and NCTRI research endeavors at UC San Diego (UCSD). The focus of the Education/Outreach Program is on supporting regional science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to foster the next generation of scientists and innovators. The centerpiece of the Education/Outreach Program is the Reproductive Science Academy (RSA), an innovative educational initiative that engages middle and high school girls and science teacher leaders to learn about reproductive science and research through a series of interactive workshops based on research topics and disease areas of UC San Diego Center investigators. In the context of Next Generation Science Standards (new standards for K-12 science education) and in collaboration with NCTRI scientists and RSA students, RSA teacher leaders will develop targeted education outreach for local youth and teachers, ranging from a Mobile Science Workshop for students to Reproductive Science lesson plans for middle and high school teachers. Deploying these education outreach tools through STEM education events, in middle and high school classrooms, and in adult and senior lecture series will in turn expand the public’s understanding of the importance of reproductive science and research. Moreover, the RSA will foster a cadre of scientists, teacher leaders and students deeply invested in translating reproductive science into educational opportunities in science and research. The Core directors have had extensive experience in mentoring and teaching high school girls through the UCSD Oncofertility Science Academy and will approach the Education/Outreach Program with the support of education faculty and external advisors from the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence (CREATE), a longstanding UCSD program that marshals campus resources to support K-12 outreach in the San Diego region. The Education/Outreach Program proposes a unique and innovative approach to promoting STEM fields for younger learners, supporting local underserved students and their teachers, and disseminating reproductive science and research in the San Diego community. The Reproductive Science and Medicine Education/Outreach Program is intended to educate students, teachers and adults in San Diego on reproductive science and research. With focus on supporting the science educational pipeline, the Program targets middle and high school students and science teachers to learn about reproductive