National Scientist to Mentor More Than 1,300 Students from Under-served Communities on MOSI’s Meet the Scientist Day

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More than 1,300 students from under-served communities and low-income schools will be visiting the Museum of Science & Industry on Friday, Oct. 26 for its 12th annual Meet the Scientist Day.

Nora D. Volkow, National Hispanic Scientist of the Year

More than 1,300 students from under-served communities and low-income schools will be visiting the Museum of Science & Industry on Friday, Oct. 26 for its 12th annual Meet the Scientist Day.

This event is part of MOSI’s National Hispanic Scientist of the Year fundraiser and allows students the opportunity for an exciting day of mentoring with MOSI’s 2012 honoree, Nora D. Volkow, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and one of Time magazine’s Top 100 People Who Shape Our World.

Students who attend Meet the Scientist Day come from predominately Hispanic and/or migrant population elementary, middle and high schools. Students will have the opportunity to hear a motivational presentation from Volkow that focuses on the importance of hard work and education, view the featured IMAX film of the day, To The Arctic, and get a signed autograph from Volkow on a souvenir T-shirt. This fun-filled day kicks off with the first lecture and IMAX film at 9:30 a.m. Volkow’s last lecture of the day will begin at 1:30 p.m.

Volkow’s work has been instrumental in demonstrating that drug addiction is a disease of the human brain. As a research psychiatrist and scientist, Volkow pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate toxic effects of drugs and their addictive properties. Her studies have documented changes in the dopamine system affecting the actions of frontal brain regions involved with motivation, drive, and pleasure and the decline of brain dopamine function with age. She has also made important contributions to the neurobiology of obesity, ADHD, and the behavioral changes that occur with aging.

MOSI will present this year’s National Hispanic Scientist of the Year Award to Volkow during a gala award ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012.

The original development of the award was prompted in 2000 when statistics showed an alarmingly high dropout rate for Hispanic students. Department of Education research shows that Hispanics are more likely to drop out of high school than any other ethnic group in the U.S. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the 2008 dropout rate for Hispanic students was 18.3% compared to 9.9% for African Americans and 4.8% for Caucasians.

In an effort to combat this type of disparity in the Hispanic community, proceeds from the event helps to fund MOSI’s Meet the Hispanic Scientist Day on Friday, Oct. 26. Event proceeds also help to fund MOSI’s YES! Team, an educational enrichment and vocational training program designed to help at-risk youth develop and progress in a supportive peer-group environment.

The mission of MOSI’s National Hispanic Scientist of the Year Award is to recognize outstanding Hispanic scientists who promote a greater public understanding of science and motivate Hispanic youths’ interest in science. Event proceeds also help to fund MOSI’s YES! Team, an educational enrichment and vocational training program designed to help at-risk youth develop and progress in a supportive peer-group environment.

Please Note: This event is not open to the Public. Media are invited to attend. Please contact Shannon Herbon for live shot and interview opportunities.

About MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry)
MOSI is a not-for-profit, community-based institution and educational resource dedicated to advancing public interest, knowledge, and understanding of science, industry, and technology. With a total size of over 400,000 square feet, MOSI is the largest science center in the southeastern United States, and home to the only IMAX® Dome Theatre in the state of Florida. Kids In Charge! The Children’s Science Center at MOSI is the largest children’s science center in the nation. Disasterville, featuring Bay News 9 WeatherQuest, combines education and 10,000 square feet of interactive exhibits on the science behind natural disasters. MOSI’s newest permanent exhibition, The Amazing You, presented by MetLife Foundation and sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, explores the fascinating world of birth through end-of-life. Conquer your fears and experience an adrenaline rush like no other on MOSI’s permanent attractions, the Sky Trail® Ropes Course and Zip Line. Also, guests can now Dream it – Make it – Do it in MOSI’s technology playground & inventor’s studio, Idea Zone. MOSI is the proud winner of the 2009 National Medal for Museums by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the nation’s highest honor for museums. For more information on MOSI, visit http://www.mosi.org.

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1. J. Laird, E. Cataldi, A. KewalRamani, and C. Chapman, Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2006,” based on a Compendium Report from the U.S. Department of Education (2008)

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