A new grant opens NIH internships to science teachers throughout the Washington, D.C. area.

Secondary school science teachers throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area soon will have an opportunity to spend a summer in research laboratories at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), learning how biomedical scientists go about solving the mysteries of human disease.

A new $550,000 grant by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to the NIH will enable selected teachers from the District of Columbia and suburban Maryland and Virginia schools to participate in research being conducted in NIH laboratories. They will bring back to their students first-hand knowledge about how scientists do their work and where the biological sciences are heading. Since 1990, HHMI has funded a similar program for Montgomery County teachers.

"Support from the Institute will give science teachers throughout this area a unique opportunity to work with real scientists and to take what they learn back to their classrooms," said HHMI President Purnell W. Choppin. "Since our headquarters is located in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, we are pleased to be able to offer something of value to our neighboring schools."

The grant is one of six totaling $1.5 million that HHMI is awarding to enrich science education throughout the local area. Another grant will establish a program to train 120 "master science teachers" at Montgomery County elementary schools. The other awards continue HHMI support of Montgomery County Public Schools' collaborations with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Audubon Naturalist Society, as well as a Fun With DNA summer program for middle school students, at Edison High School in Wheaton.

"We are pleased to be supporting these model partnerships between the local schools and the outstanding science resources of the Washington, D.C., area," said Joseph G. Perpich, the Institutes vice president for grants and special programs.

Since 1990, the Institute has awarded more than $6.5 million to enhance science education in Montgomery County and throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

The new HHMI grants include:

  • A $550,000, three-and-a-half-year award to the NIH Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences for student and teacher internships.
  • A $390,000, three-year award to the Montgomery County Public Schools to train 120 elementary school master science teachers.
  • Two grants totaling $512,000 to the Montgomery County Public Schools for on-the-water and classroom environmental education, in collaboration with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
  • $68,300 for a three-and-a-half-year in-service environmental science education program for Montgomery County teachers, conducted by the Audubon Naturalist Society.
  • A one-year award of $26,000 to support the sixth year of Fun With DNA , a summer program for middle students, at Edison High School in Wheaton.

HHMI also presents annual Holiday Lectures on Science before a live audience of area high school students who gather at the Institutes headquarters in Chevy Chase, Md. The lectures by leading biomedical scientists are broadcast and webcast to classrooms and HHMI program sites throughout the United States and Canada.