BAY HEAD, N.J. -- The Val Skinner Foundation is partnering with Discovery Education to launch a national innovative science curriculum for high school students focused on cancer genetics. Skinner made the announcement at the 16th annual LIFE Event (LPGA Pros in the Fight to Eradicate breast cancer) held at Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, N.J.
Skinner and some of the LPGA's biggest stars raised more than $500,000, bringing the foundation's 16-year total to more than $10 million raised for scientific research, early detection and educational programs, plus clinical support for those affected.
"I am so proud that BioCONECT will now reach millions of students and educators through Discovery Education," said Skinner, a former LPGA player. "The core mission of our foundation is driving awareness through education, particularly among young people, so this is a perfect fit."
In 2008, the Val Skinner Foundation, in collaboration with the LIFE Center at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (RCINJ), established BioCONECT, an inquiry-based biology curriculum for high school students designed to improve science skills and increase breast cancer awareness. The program was piloted in New Jersey and later introduced in schools in South Carolina and Florida.
Through the reach of the Discovery Education network, the program will be available nationwide to more than 35 million students and 3.8 million educators.
"Discovery Education is proud to join forces with the Val Skinner Foundation and the RCINJ to empower young people and their families with digital tools and resources to increase cancer awareness and advocacy," said Joni Henderson, Vice President, Corporate Partnerships, Discovery Education. "Through this partnership, all students, educators and communities nationwide will have access to the BioCONECT curriculum, which is designed to provide a greater scientific understanding of cancer, articulate preventative measures, and digitally showcase the STEM careers that are working towards finding a cure."
The program, also being developed in collaboration with the Rutgers School of Public Health, is expected to launch in fall 2015.
"Now is the perfect time to introduce this innovative program nationwide. With growing national focus on precision medicine and what genome research can mean to scientific discovery in the future, our youth will be intrigued, engaged and most importantly better informed," said Dr. Deb Toppmeyer, Director of the LIFE Center at RCINJ.
More information on the Val Skinner Foundation, LIFE Event and programs funded by the event can be found at www.valskinnerfoundation.org.