Youth Engaged in Science (YES!)

SFN Kids
YES! participants at a Society for Neuroscience event

The Developmental Cognition and Neuroimaging Lab (DCAN) is developing educational outreach programs aimed to end educational and health disparities in underrepresented minority (URM) communities. One example of these disparities is the fact that less than 2% of scientists with Ph.D.s in the biological sciences are African American, even though African Americans make up 14% of the population. The levels of representation of minority groups in other medical and health science professions are also low and disproportionate.

One of our approaches to addressing these issues is to offer enriching science educational programs to middle- and high-school students of underrepresented populations. We believe that these programs will bridge the gaps in educational and health equity between OHSU and the community at large.

Because of this, we created the YES! Youth Engaged in Science Initiative, which is a multi-faceted program aimed at exposing underrepresented students to scientific research and related careers. The YES! program conducts its outreach efforts in three ways:

  1. Bringing middle- and high-school URM students to OHSU to provide them with educational tours of clinical and research institutions and laboratories at OHSU
  2. Sending graduate students and postdocs to Portland area middle- and high-schools to provide interactive lessons about the brain using our “Brain in a Box” program developed in partnership with the OHSU Brain Institute
  3. Provide summer- and year-long research internships in the Fair Neuroimaging Lab to high-school and undergraduate students

We also reach out to community members of all ages by participating in different family events, science talks that are open to the anyone, and more. Please explore the tabs to the left to learn more about the different types of programming that YES! coordinates, then reach out to us if you would like to schedule one of our outreach events!

Are you interested in learning more about educational tour opportunities? Click here to contact us!

In this OHSU Week podcast, Dr. Damien Fair, Dr. Anita Randolph, and Dr. Binyam Nardos share about the YES! program and how we connect our community to the incredible research and opportunities available at OHSU. Interview starts at 2:05.