On July 15-16, 2019, the UF Health Cancer Center (UFHCC) hosted its 2nd Annual Cancer Research Conference for Science Teachers. This free two-day conference took place at the UF Cancer/Genetics Research Complex and included a reception at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art. Complimentary hotel accommodations were provided for attendees from outside of Alachua County.
The overarching goal of the conference was to see how the UFHCC could build stronger relationships with teachers and community educators, provide resources for them and their students and raise community awareness of cancer health issues.
The objectives of the conference were to:
- Offer a forum for cancer center faculty to showcase research conducted at the UFHCC;
- Establish a gateway to develop connections to generate interest in middle and high school students to pursue a science career, in particular a cancer pathway;
- Provide opportunities for our current trainees to serve as ambassadors for the UFHCC.
Participants heard about leading-edge research taking place at UF and connected with scientists, physicians and students to engage in a dialogue about community health and well-being. The event highlighted current faculty and student cancer research and educated participants about key issues in cancer risk and prevention. A panel discussion at the end of the event provided a forum for the teachers and our researchers to engage in a conversation about how we can build relationships and grow stronger interactions with our community.
Conference announcements were widely distributed to middle and high school science teachers and the conference was also promoted via social media. Sixty-seven science teachers from 20 counties across Florida registered for the conference, double the number of participants for the previous year.
Initial feedback already received on this year’s conference has been very positive, with much interest in building on these connections.
In following up on ideas of interest with the participants, we are initiating a plan to develop a traveling workshop. We plan to identify a location central to several schools in a county and work with the schools in the area to develop a program of interest to the students and teachers from local middle/high schools. UFHCC faculty and graduate students will be invited to participate in the program and present their research at the workshop.
Thank you to the speakers who presented at this event:
- Jonathan Licht, M.D.
- Dietmar Siemann, Ph.D.
- Andrew Judge, Ph.D.
- Hendrik Luesch, Ph.D.
- Nancy P. Mendenhall, M.D.
- Folakemi Odedina, Ph.D.
- Elias Sayour, M.D., Ph.D
- William B. Slayton, M.D.
- Margaret Wallace, Ph.D.
If you’re interested in watching the WUFT coverage of the event, click here and go to 5:09.