Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle is best known for its cancer research and treatment, but it also offers a program that allows local educators to harness some of that knowledge and bring it back to share with their students. Through the program — the Science Education Partnership (SEP) — about two-dozen secondary school science teachers from across the state spend three weeks at Fred Hutch, learning new techniques in a teaching lab and getting paired with an ongoing research project in a scientist’s lab.
The goal is to bring modern, real-life science and technologies to more students in Washington State, and the program also involves loaning out molecular biology kits and lesson plans for classroom use. Teachers who have gone through SEP become members for life, and many of them benefit from Fred Hutch’s kits and plans year after year.
“We’re uniquely positioned because working with teachers, there’s such a great multiplier effect. We can reach so many students through providing professional development and support to teachers,” says Jeanne Chowning, SEP’s senior director.
More than 500 teachers have gone through the program since it started in 1991, encouraging more young people to pursue a career in science. Read a recent feature on the SEP program from KNKX, and learn more on the program’s website. (Tim Pfarr)