DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):
The field of biomedical informatics faces an urgent need to expand the pipeline of talented students, both to meet increased demand for biomedical informatics expertise and to improve diversity in the field. Nationally, there is increased awareness for the need to encourage future generations to consider careers in STEM-C (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, including Computing). Exposure to biomedical informatics, in contrast to other STEM-C related disciplines, generally occurs much later in training. Biomedical informatics programs around the United States have started to address this need by connecting to high school students through summer internship experiences, curriculum partnerships with high schools, and other outreach efforts. The long-term goal of this project is to develop a sustainable national forum for showcasing biomedical informatics research projects led by high school scholars. To this end, this conference grant aims to: (1) Develop a mechanism where high school students who have participated in research activities with biomedical informatics programs can learn more about the field, disseminate research knowledge gained in research experiences, and interact with peers from other institutions; (2) Provide knowledge, mentoring, and engagement opportunities for high school teachers to assist them with biomedical informatics education; and, (3) Engage the biomedical informatics community to develop extensions of biomedical informatics education and research opportunities at the high school level. The success of this endeavor will provide essential support for initiatives at individual academic programs targeting high school students that may enter into STEM-C career paths. Simultaneously, a major expected outcome of this program will be the engagement of the professional biomedical informatics community in developing mentoring opportunities for future generations of biomedical informaticians.