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About SciLife®
About SciLife®

SciLife® is an annual event that provides free information, resources, and organizational tools to help high school students and their parents plan for college and explore career options in the health and medical sciences. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Science Education (OSE) joins forces with area leaders in science education to offer the program to people in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Each year, SciLife® offers inspiring speakers, unique activities, food, and entertainment. A typical SciLife® day begins with a morning assembly and welcoming address. Workshops are offered throughout the day, covering topics of interest to both parents and students. Workshops focus on practical topics such as exploring career options in the health and medical sciences, selecting a college, writing college essays, and funding an education. A free lunch is provided by a SciLife® sponsor. In the late afternoon, participants assemble once more and pick up their take-home resources. All registrants will receive a certificate for participating in the program.


  • To expand the horizons of high school students by exposing them to career opportunities in the medical and scientific fields
  • To disseminate information critical to high school students as they consider what they would like to do after high school
  • To help high school students identify the best practices for meeting their career goals


  • Getting information and advice from area leaders in the health and biomedical fields
  • Having the chance to talk with students in college and medical school
  • Exploring career options in the health and biomedical sciences
  • Getting free lunch and college planning and organizational tools
  • Learning how to finance an education


Conception and History

SciLife® is modeled after the highly successful Biomedical Science Careers Program, founded in 1991 by Joan Reede, Dean for Diversity and Community Partnership, Harvard Medical School ( The main goal of SciLife® is to engage high school students in underserved communities through a series of practical workshops on career exploration and college planning. In these communities, the program offers resources and information that students and their parents may not have access to otherwise.

With our partners, the Office of Science Education held a pilot program in 2006. The pilot was well received by students, parents, and educators, with nearly 100 people attending. The number of participants doubled in our 2007 program.

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