From October of 2000 to September of 2006, the Museum received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under their Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) initiative to develop a the BioTrac (Biomedical Training, Research and College prep) program. BioTrac represented a collaboration between the Miami Museum of Science & Planetarium and the University of Miami’s School of Medicine. The goal of the program, which served approximately 60 students each year, was to increase the pipeline of underrepresented students who are interested in, and prepared for, postsecondary study in biomedicine and health related sciences.
Initially three years of funding was provided to create the model program. A second phase of the project was funded by NIH which allowed us to continue serving students at the Museum through a demonstration project, while also extending the successful model to other youth-serving agencies throughout the country through a series of replication institutes.
The Museum hosted two replication institutes (February 2005 and January 2006), with the goal being to help existing and new youth programs in science centers and universities to incorporate BioTrac, or elements of it, into their ongoing programming.
Sixty participants, representing thirty-nine different institutions, attended our two institutes. Participants were from places as far spread and diverse as California, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, New York, Wyoming, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Oregon, Ohio, and Massachusetts. At the institute, participants:
Were introduced to key elements & best practices of the BioTrac model program
Interacted with and exchanged ideas between professionals from museums/science centers and universities
Interacted with youth who are participating in the BioTrac program
Provided with useful tools for engaging youth in biomedical and health related sciences.
BioTrac has been a great success for our students, colleagues, and university partners. We would like to share the materials that were developed during for the project and disseminated to participants at the replication institutes. Some of these documents are in a format that will allow you to revise them to fit your specific program, while others can be used as samples as you develop similar materials. We hope that you find them useful in your work with young people.
Please feel free to contact us at 305-646-4295 should you have any questions about the program or the materials.
For more info contact: Jennifer Fields Vice President of Education
Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium
3280 S. Miami Ave., Miami, FL 33129