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Thanks for visiting the Access Excellence® World Wide Web site!

Please note:
Effective January 1, 2010, Access Excellence will no longer provide staff support to teachers, students and other users and be unable to answer questions or be otherwise responsive. The Web site will continue online in its current form and the following requirements and guidelines will continue to apply to its use:

  • All copyrights of the National Health Museum, Access Excellence, the Access Excellence Fellows and other contributors remain in place.
  • All material posted on the AE site may be used for one time, not-for-profit, educational purposes.
  • No material provided on the AE site may be posted on another website or otherwise shared electronically.
  • Copyright information will continue to be linked to each image in the Graphics Gallery.

Technical problems should be reported here: Click here

Thank you for your cooperation.
National Health Museum, Atlanta, Georgia

Access Excellence, launched in 1993, is a national educational program that provides health, biology and life science teachers access to their colleagues, scientists, and critical sources of new scientific information via the World Wide Web. The program was originally developed and launched by Genentech Inc., and in 1999 joined the National Health Museum, a non-profit organization founded by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop as a national center for health education. Access Excellence will form the core of the educational component of the National Health Museum Website that is currently under development. .

The Early Years
Access Excellence grew out of ongoing communication and volunteer activities between Genentech employees and local area science teachers. When science teachers were asked what Genentech could do to make a positive impact on science education, the teachers said they needed a way to "break the isolation" from other teachers and to be able to share teaching ideas, strategies and activities with their colleagues. They said it was this rare interaction that allowed them to effectively interest and inspire their students.

Guided in the first phase by a panel of education and scientific advisors, Access Excellence enhanced biology teaching by providing a computer network forum on which teachers could share their innovative teaching ideas and activities, accessing information, expert assistance, and the advice and experience of other teachers to create new ideas and best practices. Each year for the first three years of the program, the National Science Teachers Association chose one hundred Fellows to assist with the design and development of the program and the online forum, and to conduct outreach to other teachers. In 1997, the Fellows program was discontinued so that resources could be focused on the electronic forum on the World Wide Web. The core group of 310 Fellows continue as active participants and mentors, and new individuals and teaching communities are invited to participate via the Web.

The Present
When Access Excellence moved to the National Health Museum, we made a commitment to expand the scope and reach of the program to even broader teaching communities. Visitors to the National Health Museum - in the nation's capital or on the World Wide Web - will explore the medical advances of tomorrow and find the information they need to make healthier decisions today. By creatively applying new technology, advanced educational techniques, and hands-on experiences to the dynamic field of personal and public health, the National Health Museum will educate, motivate and inspire people of all ages to take greater responsibility for their own health. In addition to a state-of-the-art exhibit program, the museum facility will have educational facilities for student groups and a conference center geared to the special requirements of health and science professionals. Beyond the physical structure, the National Health Museum will extend its presence via the Web, where students, teachers, parents and grandparents can access the information they need.

The efforts of the Access Excellence program to enhance science education have been extremely successful, resulting in recognition by national educational organizations and the media as a model program of private sector support. With the ongoing support of NHM, as well as other interested donors, Access Excellence will continue to evolve and grow, while maintaining its well-earned reputation as a truly important contribution to high school science education.

Join the AE Community Today
Teachers who are interested in participating in the program can immediately join in the discussions, sharing and collaborations.

We look forward to seeing you online.

VivianLee Ward
Access Excellence
Director of CyberEducation
National Health Museum

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