En español
NIDA

Menu

NIH to fund development of K-12 neuroscience education programs

Selected grantees will use neuroscience to engage young people in science

September 27, 2011

Eight investigators across the United States will receive funding over the next five years to develop innovative neuroscience education programs for K-12 students and their teachers. Activities described within some proposals include using touch tablet technology to teach neurobiology, and the creation of a 1,400-square-foot interactive learning center. These grants are funded by the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research Science Education Award and the Science Education Partnership Award Program of the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR). The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health and administrator of the grants, made the announcement.

These educational programs aim to increase science literacy and understanding as well as an interest in science among K-12 students and their teachers. This is particularly important, since the most recent trends published by the U.S. Department of Education (PDF, 2.2MB) indicate that U.S. eighth graders score lower than students from nine other countries in science knowledge and skills. The project seeks to close this gap as well as fulfill the NIH mission to ensure that adequate numbers of students are entering science education tracks and eventually pursuing careers in biomedical science.

"Creative strategies are needed to ensure that the United States maintains its competiveness in the scientific field," said NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. "Since neuroscience cuts across many different disciplines and can help in understanding all kinds of behavior, it is the ideal vehicle for capturing people's interest and engaging them in science—at any age."

Awardees are as follows:

Steve Snyder, Ph.D.,
The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia
Project: Neuroscience in Your World: A Partnership for Neuroscience Education Across the K-12 Spectrum
This collaborative effort between The Franklin Institute and the Center for Neuroscience and Society at the University of Pennsylvania will develop neuroscience programs at The Franklin Institute, a high school course, and a digital toolkit of neuroscience educational materials to engage K-12 students and teachers in learning about the importance of neuroscience in their world.

Louisa Stark, Ph.D.,
University of Utah, Salt Lake City
Project: The Neuroscience of Our Senses
Dr. Stark's group plans to develop novel approaches for teaching students about the neurobiology of the five senses, using devices such as the iPad, the Motorola Xoom and interactive whiteboards.

Leslie Miller, Ph.D.,
William Marsh Rice University, Houston
Project: Virtual Clinical Trials: Advances in Neuroscience
This project aims to develop a game-based website that will educate middle school students about the scientific process of discovery, testing, and adoption of new treatments that emerge from neuroscience research as well as engage students in interactive role play across a variety of neuroscience careers.

Dina Markowitz, Ph.D.,
University of Rochester, N.Y.
Project: Neuroscience Activities for Hands-on Learning
The goal of this project is to develop, field test, disseminate and evaluate the use of innovative hands-on neuroscience activities that high school biology teachers can easily integrate into existing curriculums.

Susanna Cunningham, Ph.D.,
University of Washington, Seattle
Project: How Do I Learn: Neurosciences Advances Inform Learning
This project will engage middle school science teachers, students and parents/community groups in an innovative program of neuroscience education focused on answering the questions, "How do I learn?" and "How do I teach students about how they learn?"

Nancy Moreno, Ph.D.,
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston
Project: The Learning Brain - Interactive Inquiry for Teachers and Students
Dr. Moreno's group will develop, evaluate and disseminate new science and health teaching resources for elementary school audiences nationwide, focused on emerging areas in neuroscience, with connections to reading/language arts.

Eric Chudler, Ph.D.,
University of Washington, Seattle
Project: Sowing the Seeds of Neuroscience
This project will give middle school students an opportunity to study how chemicals in plants and herbs, such as Gingko biloba or the caffeine in tea leaves, affect health and behavior. These investigations aim to improve student understanding about neuroscience and encourage them to pursue careers in biomedical sciences.

Michael Kavanaugh, Ph.D.,
University of Montana, Missoula
Project: The Big Sky Brain Project
The University of Montana will collaborate with the Exploratorium in San Francisco to create a neuroscience learning center called the Brainzone, which will feature four exhibits, a computer lab, and a working laboratory. This exhibit will also be used in a mobile program that brings hands-on science education projects to isolated, underserved, rural and tribal schools.

"These innovative NIH-funded awards enable teams of researchers and educators to engage students in the creativity and excitement of cutting-edge research in human health and disease," said NCRR Director Barbara M. Alving, M.D.

The NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research is a cooperative effort among the 16 NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices that support neuroscience research. By pooling resources and expertise, the Blueprint identifies cross-cutting areas of research, and confronts challenges too large for any single Institute or Center.

For more information about the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, go to http://neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov/.


Contact:
NIDA Press Office
301-443-6245
media@nida.nih.gov

About the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): NIDA is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy and improve practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at www.drugabuse.gov. To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA's new DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or fax or email requests to 240-645-0227 or drugpubs@nida.nih.gov. Online ordering is available at drugpubs.drugabuse.gov. NIDA's media guide can be found at www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide, and its new easy-to-read website can be found at www.easyread.drugabuse.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

NIH. . .Turning Discovery Into Health®

This page was last updated September 2011

News Releases

Sep 2014

Aug 2014

Jul 2014

Jun 2014

May 2014

Apr 2014

Mar 2014

Feb 2014

Jan 2014

Dec 2013

Nov 2013

Oct 2013

Sep 2013

Aug 2013

Jul 2013

Jun 2013

May 2013

Apr 2013

Mar 2013

Feb 2013

Jan 2013

Dec 2012

Nov 2012

Oct 2012

Sep 2012

Aug 2012

Jul 2012

Jun 2012

May 2012

Apr 2012

Mar 2012

Feb 2012

Jan 2012

Dec 2011

Nov 2011

Oct 2011

Sep 2011

Aug 2011

Jul 2011

Jun 2011

May 2011

Apr 2011

Mar 2011

Jan 2011

Dec 2010

Nov 2010

Sep 2010

Aug 2010

Jul 2010

May 2010

Apr 2010

Mar 2010

Jan 2010

Get this Publication

Cite this article

APA style citation

National Institute of Drug Abuse (2011). NIH to fund development of K-12 neuroscience education programs Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2011/09/nih-to-fund-development-k-12-neuroscience-education-programs

press ctrl+c to copy