Clarkson University Team Awarded Grant to Support North Country High School Students’ interest in Clinical Neuroscience


POTSDAM, NY, Oct. 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Clarkson University’s Institute for STEM Education and the Earl R. and Barbara D. Lewis School of Health Sciences have been awarded a $1.25 million Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIOGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The goal of this program, Building Rural Aspirations In Neuroscience with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (BRAIN-STEM), is to increase rural student interest in pursuing a career in the health care professions. Recent research has shown that health care providers are more likely to practice in rural areas if they were raised in a rural community.

This  program is designed to address key, modifiable barriers that limit student interest in and the ability to succeed in health care careers. The success of this program will increase the number of healthcare professionals in rural areas, thereby improving the health of rural residents.

BRAIN-STEM provides local 9th–12th grade students and high school teachers, with five-day summer camps and an afterschool program to explore neuroscience. The topics of addiction and concussion provide students with content knowledge, hone problem solving and metacognitive skills, introduce the research process via inquiry-based learning, and foster a sense of community as they work closely with their teacher coaches and Clarkson University student and faculty mentors.


The program will be led by Katie Kavanagh, Director of the Institute of STEM Education, Lenn Johns, Dean of the Earl R. and Barbara D. Lewis School of Health Sciences, and Robert Dowman, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology with the help of numerous faculty and clinicians from across the campus and community. Key to the success of the program includes Clarkson undergraduate students who serve as near-peer mentors and role models to high school participants.

BRAIN-STEM will have a national impact. Online educational tools and training will be available for educators anywhere to integrate this curriculum. Both the addiction and concussion curricula are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. Unique to Clarkson’s program is the incorporation of metacognitive skills which have been shown to improve academic performance. Participants will be well-positioned for success on their career path. This widely disseminated work will allow the North Country to be on the forefront of educating future healthcare professionals.

CONTACT: Jake Newman Clarkson University 315-268-6764 [email protected] 

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