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UAlbany's High School Science Research Program Gains Support From NYSTAR

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 11, 2005) -- The Science Research in the High School (SRHS) program has received a statewide sponsorship from the New York State Office of Science, Technology, and Academic Research (NYSTAR). Initiated three years ago to attract more students to the sciences by giving them opportunities to conduct original scientific research, the SRHS program is currently in approximately 135 New York State schools. As part of the new partnership, SRHS administrators hope to encourage schools that are struggling academically to offer the SRHS program. Some of the support funding will be used to engage these schools, teachers and students, and to offset the cost of training teachers.

Science Research in the High School, an outreach program of the University at Albany, trains teachers during the summer to implement the program. Training was recently streamlined, enabling teachers to prepare online and complete the course in just one week of face-to-face training. Tentative New York training locations include Westchester, Long Island, Saratoga, and Buffalo. Training is also planned nationwide, including workshops in Alaska and London, Ontario.

At the March 21 and 22 Upstate New York Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) in Albany, NYSTAR Executive Director Russell W. Bessette, M.D., discussed the benefits of an education in science and technology with more than 400 high school students from Westchester County to Western New York. Students also had an opportunity to share their research with their fellow students. Beth Meccariello, a sophomore at Cornell University and the 2003 Upstate JSHS winner joined an alumni panel as part of a series of student workshops. When asked about the SRHS program, Beth said, “SRHS prepared me for college; nothing else had.” Beth, who studied West Nile virus as a high school student, continues to do research at Cornell on viruses carried by mosquitoes.

UAlbany biologist Daniel Wulff, executive director of SRHS, sees the NYSTAR support as an important step in giving more students the opportunity to join the community of scientists as part of their high school experience. “Although the program is well-represented in elite suburban schools, the support of NYSTAR helps us to reach out to city school districts in most need of programs that embrace positive educational models," he said. “This new partnership with NYSTAR also gives NYSTAR-sponsored centers and/or researchers a way to get involved with students in new SRHS initiatives that encourage working scientists to visit SRHS classrooms or be placed in a database of scientists that students can call upon with questions.”

For more information on Science Research in the High School, visit the SRHS web site at


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