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The EMPOWER program aims to enhance the diversity of the environmental health research workforce by building relationships with underserved schools in the Metro Atlanta area that have historically performed poorly in the areas of science, technology, and math. These schools possess an untapped workforce capable of addressing today’s societal issues involving environmental health with the proper training and mentorship. By fostering a better understanding of environmental pollutants in a manner that addresses the challenges the communities in which these students and teachers live in, we hope to cultivate life-long learners prepared to address current and developing environmental health and safety issues.

Through this transformative 4 week high school research program, we will develop well-prepared, ethical researchers committed to scientific inquiry, intensive fieldwork, and collaborative problem- solving to address environmental health challenges. Following the 4-step risk assessment process, students, teachers, and faculty mentors will work collaboratively to identify toxicants, potential hazards and risks, and environmental disparities in urban neighborhoods.


Goal 1: Engage high school juniors and seniors from underrepresented groups in summer research activities including field sampling and lab training at GSU.
Goal 2: Build teacher competency, confidence, and science teaching capacity through hands-on experience and innovative strategies that reinforce high school science standards.