JCVI: Giving / Funding Opportunities / Education
 
 
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Giving — Funding Opportunities

Education

Since the inception of our organization in 1992, education has been an integral part of our mission. We began with internships for local high school and college students and have significantly expanded the program over the last decade.

The education program now encompasses several components to support science, specifically, genomic education. Six years ago, we entered a new phase by introducing the DiscoverGenomics! Science Education Program, taking genomics directly to students in the metropolitan Washington, DC area via a customized mobile genomics laboratory. In 2007, this program expanded to the West Coast by offering professional development workshops in San Diego. The program also gives students and teachers in both the greater Washington, DC and San Diego areas access to:

  • DG! Mobile Equipment — enhancing in-class science learning
  • Teacher Professional Development — hands-on experience with advanced laboratory techniques
  • Summer Internship Program — supporting high school, undergraduate, and graduate students as well as teachers
  • Visits to the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) and public events

We have successfully visited over 60 schools and touched the lives of thousands of students throughout the DC metro region. However, we are at a critical crossroads in these important education programs. While we have had some early grant funding and some philanthropic support, since 2008 JCVI has been supporting these programs entirely with our own internal dollars. The tightening of federal grants budgets and especially our own, puts us in the dire situation of needing your help to keep these programs funded. We have moved the DG! Mobile Lab to our San Diego facility to both bring our important programs to the students in Southern California but also to see if major donors can be secured to keep this program running. Without external support we will not be able to keep this program going.

The educational programs at JCVI, and especially the mobile genomics lab, help students, their teachers and parents to understand the importance of genomic discoveries that will not only increase our basic understanding of life processes, but will also enhance life itself. Mobile laboratories can be very cost effective for strapped-cash school districts. As an alternative to the costs of individual schools constructing and equipping fixed laboratories, mobile labs can serve many schools in multiple districts on a schedule tied to the science curriculum. This model also offers the advantage of pairing research institute personnel with classroom instructors. Science and technology are constantly changing. Bringing current knowledge and equipment to teachers and their students is arguably the most effective way to meet the challenge of keeping pace with that change. If we can truly empower classroom science teachers by making them comfortable teaching today's rapidly evolving science, and also provide them with current equipment that schools cannot afford to acquire, large numbers of students will be exposed to truly exciting science education activities — experiences that can stimulate life-long interest, and perhaps careers, in science and technology. We need these kinds of programs to help America once again be at the forefront of discovery and innovation.

Your help is desperately needed to keep these innovative programs rolling!