BRASS is a program developed by National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists as an effort to communicate with middle school students about the nature of scientific research conducted at a biomedical research facility.
- Encourage participation by a broad range of students, particularly minorities, females, as well as economically disadvantaged and at-risk students
- Stimulate interest in biomedical and life sciences
- Provide scientist role models with whom students can identify
- Promote scientific literacy among students
- Encourage students to seek careers in science
The program consists of five lab sessions covering hematology, genetics, cancer, infectious diseases, and animal research. Each two-hour session is designed to be highly interactive, with scientists providing background on the topic, followed by several hands-on experiments designed to increase the student's understanding of the topic using the scientific method. The program concludes with a commencement ceremony featuring a scientist as the guest speaker and laboratory demonstrations conducted by students for their parents and interested public.