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Imagine walking into an office of engineers, a hospital, or research laboratory and seeing faces that represent the wonderful diversity of our society. Through BOOST (Building

Opportunities and Overtures in Science and Technology), we can make this dream a reality!

BOOST is a multidimensional program, serving Durham Public Schools students in 5th through 8th grades, that’s  designed to excite young people about science – particularly underrepresented minorities, girls, and kids from economically challenged backgrounds – and inspire them to pursue careers in medicine and related fields.  BOOST is funded through a grant from the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


BOOST aims to create a pipeline which attracts, engages, supports, and retains underrepresented minority (URM) students in the sciences throughout their pre-collegiate education. We do this by exposing these students and their families to new people, places, and experiences that can open new worlds for them.

Our goals are to:

  • Improve the science performance of URM students (particularly African Americans, Native Americans, and Latina/o Americans), female students, and students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds;
  • Upgrade and expand the content of the pre-college science curriculum; and
  • Increase the number of URM, female, and economically disadvantaged students prepared for professional education in STEM.


  1. Students receive hands-on, stimulating classroom activities; research projects under the guidance of mentors; overnight and local field trips; a summer science workshop, and other activities through three targeted, age-appropriate programs for elementary, middle, and high school students and their families.
  2. Educators get professional development programs including teacher training workshops, a summer science workshop, science/research forums, and classroom support.
  3. College Students have opportunities to mentor students, teach and provide support in classrooms, and help guide science-based field trips.