Black Belt educators, others gather at Tuskegee University to commemorate launch of nanobioscience partnership



TUSKEGEE, Ala. (November 19, 2011) — Dozens of educators, administrators, political representatives and middle school students from Macon County and surrounding areas gathered in the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Tuskegee University ballroom on Saturday to commemorate the official launch of a nanobioscience partnership for the Alabama Black Belt region. The National Science Foundation awarded the $9.9 million grant that funds the program to Tuskegee University in September.



  Shaik Jeelani, vice president for research and
  sponsored  programs  at Tuskegee  University,
  speaks  to  educators  and  others  at  the
  commemoration  of  the  partnership  in  the
  Kellogg  ballroom  on  Saturday.


 Belinda Hart, a science  teacher  at Tuskegee
 Institute Middle School tells the audience about
 her  students' excitement  about the partnership.

“This is a truly remarkable partnership among universities, community colleges and school districts throughout this area,” said Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon.


The five-year grant will allow the university and its partners to reach out to area science students and teachers in middle schools (sixth-to-eighth grades), and increase the use of nanobioscience. Partners in the grant include Alabama State University, Auburn University, and the University of Alabama (Birmingham and Tuscaloosa campuses). Other partners are Central Alabama, Enterprise, Shelton State, Wallace State and Wallace State at Selma community colleges.


 “Alabama ranks the lowest in science achievement. That was a good reason for us to come together and do something about it,” said Shaik Jeelani, vice president for research and sponsored programs at Tuskegee.


During the commemoration, several state and local politicians made remarks about their commitment to education. Among them were Tuskegee Mayor Omar Neal and State Rep. Pebblin Warren (District 82). Academic partners also presented module demonstrations and shared teaching techniques that they would bring to their respective classrooms.

The nine participating school districts are Barbour, Bullock, Dallas, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Montgomery, Perry and Selma.


Belinda Hart, a science teacher at Tuskegee Institute Middle School, who is also a Tuskegee University alumna, said she and her students were very excited about the new opportunities the partnership will provide.


“When you get the students excited about something,” she said, “you can take on the world.”

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