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UPR receives $600K for research experience program for middle, high school science teachers

The University of Puerto Rico received a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation that facilitated the creation of a research experience program for middle and high school science teachers on the island, known as BIORETS: BioInteractions.

The project, which was conceptualized in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Department of Education, is focused on biological and biomedical interactions and will have “a huge impact on low-income students in low-performing schools,” school officials said.

“It will allow expanding the educational alliances that have been created from this institution for the professional development of teachers in non-traditional subjects, and we’re sure that the result of this project will mean that the participating teachers will be able to motivate students to take an interest in continuing studies in related disciplines,” said the Rector of UPR Río Piedras Campus, Luis Ferrao-Delgado.

To obtain this grant, the UPR successfully competed among hundreds of proposals from universities and organizations from all states and territories of the United States.

The primary goal of this project is to improve middle and high school students’ scientific literacy and positive attitudes toward science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by including teachers in a professional development program focused on immersion in biological research and the development of curricular material, based on their research experience.

Teachers will participate in a wide range of research activities from molecular biology to macro ecology, it was reported.

“I am committed to continuing to identify funding sources for projects like this one, which will have a positive impact on middle and high school science teachers and, consequently, on the quality of education that our children will receive in their respective schools,” said the Interim President of the UPR, Mayra Olavarría-Cruz.

“The future of Puerto Rico lies in education, and the UPR is the pillar on which the future of our country is sustained,” said Olavarría.

To be part of the project, teachers have to fill out a form before March 31 and selected teachers will be notified on May 6.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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