Georgetown College is one of only 48 colleges in the nation selected to share in a $60 million education grant that will be used to help boost science education in the United States.
Colleges in 21 states and Puerto Rico will receive $700,000 to $1.6 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute over the next four years to revitalize their life sciences undergraduate instruction. The institute has challenged the colleges to create more engaging science classes, bring real-world research experiences to students and increase the diversity of students who study science.
Georgetown College, the only Kentucky college selected for the grant program, is launching science careers seminars to introduce students to professional scientists from academia, industry, government and non-profit organizations.
The seminar will work to foster mentoring relationships between freshmen and sophomores and scientists from Georgetown and other institutions to help them learn the skills they need to succeed in science. Students will also have access to a new HHMI-funded summer research program.
To ensure that its students are ready to confront the kind of science researchers are doing today, Georgetown is also revising its curriculum, designing new courses that emphasize computation and bioinformatics. “Our idea is to link lab work with bioinformatic methods,” Christensen explained. “We want our students to learn how to search genomic and proteomic databases and use the output to design and interpret their own experiments.”