SPOKANE — Washington State University Spokane CityLab will benefit from a $900,000 grant awarded last month to Spokane Community College by the National Science Foundation.
 
Given through NSF’s Advanced Technology Education program, the grant was awarded to Principal Investigator Clay Malinak of SCC and co-researchers Don Lightfoot of Eastern Washington University and Sylvia Oliver of WSU Spokane.

Through a subcontract with SCC, CityLab will receive approximately $180,000 over a three-year period to assist in implementing a Biotechnology Education Infusion program to improve biotechnology career awareness for Washington state middle, high school, and community college counselors and science teachers.

As part of the program, a two-week workshop was held in July to train 34 regional teachers and counselors. The workshop assisted them to effectively and enthusiastically deliver information about careers in biotechnology, with the goals of enhancing student knowledge and increasing the number of students entering the field.

Teachers participating in the workshop had the opportunity to be mentored through in-depth lab experiences, internships in the industry, and trips to biotechnology companies locally and across the state.

A further objective of the Biotechnology Education Infusion program is to assist teachers and counselors in compiling a resource guide which includes career advising materials, instructional materials, and inquiry-based laboratory investigations.

Participants in the recent two-week workshop will reconnect throughout the fall semester and meet for a follow-up session in February. The summer workshop will also be held in 2007 and 2008.

“Evaluations from participants demonstrated that the workshop was a resounding success,” said Sylvia Oliver, director of WSU Spokane CityLab. “We are now looking forward to seeing some great counseling and teaching programs implemented as a direct result of our program.”

About WSU Spokane CityLab
WSU Spokane CityLab is a fully equipped, laboratory-based teaching and learning center providing experience in inquiry-styled teaching methods and laboratory instruction in biology, chemistry and biotechnology. State-of-the-art technology and a strong mentoring system ensures up-to-date training and translation of instructional tools and models back to the classroom. WSU Spokane CityLab provides teachers on-site practice with their students in a laboratory setting coupled with a non-threatening collegial approach to self-evaluation of classroom implementation.

About Washington State University Spokane
WSU Spokane is the urban campus of WSU, a land-grant research university founded in 1890. The campus features advanced studies and research in health sciences and health professions, the design disciplines, education, social and policy sciences, and science and technology. Washington State University is one of just 95 public and private research universities with very high research activity, according to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Related Web sites:
* WSU Spokane CityLab: http://www.spokane.wsu.edu/research&service/HREC/CityLab/
* WSU Spokane: www.spokane.wsu.edu