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Exploring the Short Term and Long Term Outcomes of a Medical School Summer Program for High School Students

Aihua Wang, Thesla Anderson, Helen Livingston


The purpose of the study is to evaluate short-term and/or long-term impact of the Summer Institute at Florida State University College of Medicine on high school students who participated in the program between 2011 and 2014. The authors used the pre-test/post-test method to examine immediate program effects on students’ knowledge and skills in medicine and science. Students were surveyed to collect their feedback about various program activities and components. In addition to these short-term outcomes, students were tracked to explore potential long-term outcomes related to college enrollment and choice of major. The results show that the post-test scores are higher than the pre-test scores, and the differences are statistically significant, which indicates that the program has helped increase students’ knowledge and skills in science and medicine. The evaluation survey results also show positive feedback from the students about the program, particularly the hands-on activities and mentoring from medical students. Most of the high school graduates tracked and contacted have successfully entered college, and the majority of them chose certain majors related to science or medicine. In conclusion, the results imply that the program has made some positive short-term and long-term impact on the students participating in the program. The program model, based on the contextual learning theory, seems to be effective. However, the variance in students’ ratings on program activities and the pre-test/post-test score differences suggest that the program needs to be fine-tuned in order to accommodate the different needs of the students from diverse backgrounds.


outreach program, science education, evaluation research, high school

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18103/mra.v0i2.22


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