AAI Education Program for High School Teachers Receives Kudos
Josep Bassaganya-Riera, AAI ‘02, professor of immunology and director of the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory (NIMML) at Virginia Tech, praises the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) High School Teachers Summer Research Program. Following his summer service as a mentor for high school teacher Stephen Biscotte, Bassaganya-Riera lauded the program for helping to build stronger bridges between the immunology research community and science teachers. Bassaganya-Riera’s remarks appear in a press statement released by his institution, Bioinformatics Institute of Virginia Tech. Biscotte, one of eight teachers to participate in the 2012–2013 program, is a science teacher at Cave Spring High School, Roanoke, Virginia. As a participant, he attended the 2012 AAI Introductory Course in Immunology and then spent a month in the laboratory with BassaganyaRiera. While there, Biscotte was involved in the development of computational models of immunological processes. He also had the opportunity to contribute to important host response studies.
Biscotte says the experience will aid him in enhancing his science curriculum at Cave Spring, introducing practical modeling exercises into the classroom experience. NIMML quotes Biscotte as saying that his experience there has allowed him to experience ﬁrst-hand how mechanistic discoveries are turned into improving human health. “We’re grateful to Virginia Tech for recognizing the importance of this program, and we are particularly grateful to Dr. Bassaganya-Riera for his generosity in mentoring Biscotte this summer,” says Clinton Mathias, assistant professor at Western New England University and director of the AAI High School Teachers Program. “This summer program provides an opportunity not only for the high school teacher to learn about immunology but also to bring the excitement of discovery into the classroom. We see this as an important step toward raising scientiﬁc literacy, as well as helping to cultivate the next generation of investigators.” Members are urged to consider nominating a talented high school teacher for the 2013 summer program. To learn more about this program, visit www.aai.org/Education/Summer_Teachers/index.html.
This report is presented on page 21 of AAI newsletter September/October 2012.