The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation announced today that it has named five state teachers as Foundation Scholars. The teachers, all middle- and high-school science teachers, will participate in a four-week summer science program in OMRF’s Oklahoma City laboratories.
The course, “Living Chemistry,” will focus on cell metabolism and the production of biological energy. It will give teachers the opportunity to design an integrated series of projects that they can take back to classrooms and laboratories in their home schools. The teachers will work with active medical researchers and also attend seminars by OMRF research scientists.
“Science teachers often feel isolated in the classroom, particularly in rural areas,” said OMRF researcher Tim Mather, Ph.D., science coordinator for the program. “As Foundation Scholars, they learn together, work together and share ideas for enriching their classroom teaching methods.”
Frances Dodd, a Ketchum High School teacher who has been selected as a Foundation Scholar, is looking forward to the experience. “I have high hopes that this program will allow me to return to school in the fall with more great stories and hands-on activities for them to experience,” she said. “After all, students learn best by putting their knowledge to work, and this should provide me with the tools to give them the most from their science experiences.”
Putnam City High’s Lesa Rohrer sees the program as a great chance for a role reversal. “It is vital to return to the student mindset and put myself in their position occasionally,” she said. “To have the opportunity to work with actual scientists in a laboratory is a dream come true for me.”
Since 1988, OMRF’s Foundation Scholar Program has given 60 middle- and high-school science teachers the chance to participate in hands-on biomedical research in state-of-the-art facilities. “When these educators return to their schools, their newfound knowledge and the network they have established with other teachers benefits their students and their colleagues as well,” said OMRF’s Mather.
The 2005 Foundation Scholars are:
Susan Baker, Oklahoma City, Putnam City North High School
Frances Dodd, Welch, Ketchum High School
Cort Hayhurst, Oklahoma City, Dibble School
Debra Madden, Wayne, Wayne Middle School
Lesa Rohrer, Yukon, Putnam City High School
For more information about the Foundation Scholar Program:
Chartered in 1946, OMRF (www.omrf.org) is a nonprofit biomedical research institute dedicated to understanding and curing human disease. Its scientists focus on such critical research areas as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, lupus and cardiovascular disease. OMRF is home to Oklahoma’s only member of the National Academy of Sciences.