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 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.