|USDA, HSINP - Future Scientists Program|
The USDA/Hispanic Serving Institutions National Program (HSINP) - Future Scientists Program is designed to assist USDA/ARS Laboratories to reach out to their surrounding communities and schools with hands-on, inquiry-based activities by bringing science teachers into their local research lab for workshops. This links the teachers with USDA/ARS scientists, their local laboratory site and current agricultural science research. It is appropriate for all grade levels, K-12. It is aligned with the National Science Standards. The focus is on insect life cycles using the USDA/ARS research on the corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea) with a second focus on the research at the local USDA/ARS Research Laboratory.
The goal of the year-long program is to help teachers to become more effective and so inspire students to continue their studies in science. It begins with a two-day summer workshop at their local USDA/ARS laboratory. Half the time is spent teaching the participants about the corn earworm and research projects their students can develop to help farmers control these destructive pests. The balance of the time is devoted to local research scientists sharing their expertise and research projects.
The program increases student engagement in science and improves their scientific knowledge and skills. The USDA/ARS research laboratories become available as educational resources for their communities as teachers, students and their parents visit the research center and are welcomed back. The ultimate goal is to develop student STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) potential and to encourage them to pursue science courses in college and to enter the science career pipeline as Future Scientists.