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DHRHealth Institute for Research and Development

South Texas Academy for Education and Training in Research (STAETR)

LASER: Leaders in Advancement of Science, Education & Research

What is 

This cohort-based program is offered in partnership with GEARUP Pathways to the Future. It has been designed as a spiral curriculum based on the cognitive theory proposed by Jerome Bruner in 1960. Key features of the spiral curriculum based on Bruner's work are: (1) The student revisits a topic, theme or subject several times during the course; (2) The complexity of the topic or theme increases with each engagement; and (3) New learning has a relationship with old learning and is put in context with the old information. The benefits of this spiral curriculum are that: (1) The information is reinforced and solidified each time the student revisits the subject matter; (2) The spiral curriculum also allows a logical progression from simplistic ideas to complicated ideas; and (3) Students are encouraged to apply the early knowledge to later more complex objectives.

A four-year cohort-based pyramidal program using the spiral curriculum model to create a learning community

Provide transformative educational experience to a cohort of forty-four 8th grade students

Learning Experience, Endorsement Exhibition, Week-long Summer Internship Program, One-day Conferences, Certifications, Publications, Oral Presentations

Selected Students in the LASER Program at the Orientation/White Coat Ceremony

The curriculum includes distinct yet overlapping activities that markedly augments the learning experience of the students. Up to fifty 8th grade students from 13 independent school districts in the Greater Rio Grande Valley have been selected to participate in the program, which will provide education, immersion, and practicum experiences to the students.

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