Saturday Morning Science (SMS) is a community outreach program sponsored by the Office of Community Engagement & Health Equity, and takes place on various Saturdays throughout the year. SMS allows 6th-12th graders in Houston and surrounding areas to participate in interactive sessions designed to enhance exposure to STEM careers and topics including basic scientific research, clinical research, medical careers, career development activities, and mentored small group experiences.
Programs are offered in annually in Spring, Summer and Fall Sessions
The cornerstone of any program to improve cultural diversity is the CEO of the institution. In 1992, only one African American student matriculated at Baylor College of Medicine as a member of the class of 1996.
With then CEO and President Dr. William T. Butler concerned about the underserved in our country and the paucity of physicians from the groups of underserved in medicine, a major effort was begun at Baylor College of Medicine to increase the enrollment and graduation of students underrepresented in medicine. He was also the national chair of Project 3000 by 2000, the AAMC's initiative for cultural diversity that was started in 1991.
Dr. Butler recruited a dean with a strong track record of improving cultural diversity at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine - Dr. James L. Phillips, now senior associate dean and professor of the Department of Pediatrics, Office of Community Engagement & Health Equity at Baylor College of Medicine.
With unequivocal support from Dr. Butler and his successors, initiatives were established, enhanced and maintained, such that Baylor has been one of the leading schools in the enrollment of students underrepresented in medicine (URM). In 2007, 902 URMs applied to Baylor College of Medicine compared to 240 in 1993. In 2006, URMs constituted 28 percent of BCM's matriculates in the first-year class, compared to 7 percent in 1993.
With the philosophy that the entire environment of the school must be addressed, Dr. Phillips proceeded to enhance some of the programs already established, while also starting new programs to impact the pipeline of future medical students.
In 2018, upon Dr. Phillips’ retirement, he passed on the torch of leading Saturday Morning Science to Dr. Rayne H. Rouce, a Baylor physician-scientist passionate about community outreach and STEM education.
'Saturday Morning Science' inspires medical student to give back to community
Medical student Chelsea Livingston reflects on her Saturday Morning Science experience and why she wants to inspire others to work in STEM on the Baylor College of Medicine blog, Momentum.
Drawing in Tomorrow's Leaders
Learn more about the Saturday Morning Science program, which was featured on the Baylor College of Medicine Momentum blog.