Initiated in 1992, Base Pair was initiated as a biomedical research mentorship program that paired faculty from the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) with high school students and educators from one of the largest public school district in the state of Mississippi, the Jackson Public School District (JPSD).
Teacher professional development and science curriculum enhancement activities have complemented the student participation to create a highly coordinated impetus for science education reform that has generated two innovative, teacher-initiated corollary programs, the Rural Biomedical Initiative (RBI) and the Student Oriented Academic Research (SOAR). From a modest start, Base Pair has exerted a significant, positive influence over science education, locally in the Jackson Metro area, throughout the state of Mississippi, regionally in the southeast and nationally through conferences, workshops, and presentations.
Base Pair, the namesake program, allows JPSD students from Murrah High School to experience a long-term, bona fide biomedical research experience in a "hands-on" manner under the guidance and supervision of a UMMC faculty researcher.
The RBI program offers a flexible template for inquiry-based, hands-on high school science curricula amenable for schools in rural and often under-resourced locations.
The SOAR program is an innovative, two-year science curriculum template, for schools within the JPSD, that is focused on locally-generated student research and which is highly adaptable to individual school resources and constraints.