Science Education Department

Science Education Partnership Award Program

Group photo of studentsSEPA Logo
About the Program

We are fortunate to receive funding from a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) provided by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The goal of the SEPA program is to invest in educational activities that complement or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. This is accomplished through interactive partnerships between researchers and educators, providing opportunities for students from underserved communities, and helping students, teachers, and the public have a better understanding of life sciences through providing educational resources.

In 2018, we received a SEPA grant to support our newest project TRIPs – Mobile Lab Experiences and TRIPs (Teacher-Research Institute Partnerships) to Inspire Middle School Students. Grade eight students will learn about a simulated outbreak of an infectious disease on a ship that serves as a floating hospital. Students will review case reports and plot an epidemic curve in order to identify the potential source of the outbreak. Students complete a DNA fingerprinting experiment onboard the Science Adventure Lab to definitively identify the source.

We are currently seeking grade 8 science teachers to participate in the project and implement the five-lesson module in their classrooms during the 2020-21 school year. For information about how to participate, please email Dr. Amanda Jones.

Read more about this project. You may also download the TRIPs Learning Objectives and NGSS that this module supports.

Read more information about our prior NIH-funded SEPA project


To date, our department has received two five-year SEPA grants:


The Engaging Families to Enhance Science Learning and Interest in STEM Careers project concluded in 2017. The project’s aims, details, and findings were peer-reviewed and published in the Journal of STEM Outreach in January 2019.

To learn more about our SEPA projects, please email Dr. Amanda Jones.