Science Internships in High School Can Influence Career Plans of Gifted Black Youth

jhuA study by researchers at the Center for Epigenetics and the Center for Talented Youth, both at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, has found that mentoring Black students in the sciences in high school can have a major impact in influencing gifted students to pursue degree programs in STEM fields.

The study found that 86 percent of gifted minority high school students who took college-level science courses in high school and who had hands-on laboratory research internships stated that they planned to pursue careers in science. Only half of the high-achieving minority students who did not participate in the internships said they planned on a career in science.

Elaine Tuttle Hansen, the former president of Bates College and now executive director of the Center for Talented Youth, stated, “This study confirms that by providing the right kind of challenge and support at the right time, we can close the excellence gap. Now the work ahead is clear: We must translate what we know into actions that broaden horizons for more of our brightest future thinkers and leaders.”

The study was published in the Roeper Review.

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