The African American Ethnic Academy and the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute (BTC Institute), both 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organizations, have collaborated for over 20 years to offer A Celebration of Life, a summer science program for upper elementary and middle school students. Open to all students, an important goal of this partnership is to support underserved students’ interest in the life sciences and provide them with the tools for success in school
In addition to developing knowledge and abilities associated with scientific investigations in field and laboratory settings (e.g. formulating and testing hypotheses, utilizing problem-solving skills, learning and demonstrating correct techniques), students are challenged to develop their communication skills (e.g. through teamwork, journals, presentations to parents and family members). They are also encouraged to express and develop their creativity in numerous ways. Information regarding African-American scientists throughout history is shared, and role models of color are key players in program activities.