(RELINQUISHED) Teacher Labs to Foster Minority Students Bioscience Inquiry

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Research indicates that project-based inquiry science instruction (learning science in the context of solving authentic problems of personal relevance) should improve the science achievement and enhance the attitudes towards science of middle and high school students from minorities under-represented in scientific research. This is in favorable contrast to how these students' science attitudes and achievements typically decline during middle and high school (the result of science taught as stale facts and theories to be memorized), causing the greatest drop in the numbers of future minority research scientists to occur before these students ever enter college. Doing project-based inquiry science in school, on the other hand, provides all minority students the opportunity to perform the personally-relevant science that will foster their interest in pursuing scientific careers. However, in urban schools that educate many such students, science teachers themselves lack sufficient experience doing scientific inquiry to successfully engage in it with their students. Therefore, this proposal aims to develop, provide, and assess a laboratory-based professional development program designed to teach scientific inquiry to Chicago's middle school science and high school biology teachers via laboratory experiences in tissue engineering, nutritional science, microcirculation, cardiology, cardiovascular epidemiology, and cellular biology. These laboratories will be designed and taught by a team of NHLBI-funded scientists, science education researchers, and professional development specialists. However, there is a recognized need to further help teachers translate these lab-based experiences into concrete inquiry-based classroom instruction. To this end, the planned laboratories build inquiry skills specific to teachers enacting existing project-based inquiry biology curricula: I, Bio (students learn eight weeks of middle school life science in the context of redesigning their school lunch choices to meet their bodies' needs); and Disease Detectives (students learn eight weeks of high school biology in the context of solving a epidemiological mystery about coronary artery disease). In this way, the laboratory-based professional development program facilitates teachers using well-researched project-based inquiry biology curricula with their minority middle and high school students. This will address our primary aim of enhancing minority students' science achievement and attitudes to support their pursuing science careers. In addition, these specific health-related curricular projects will address our secondary aim of enhancing students' and teachers' knowledge of cardiovascular- and nutrition-related diseases and their prevention.
Effective start/end date9/22/033/31/07


  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (5 R25 HL075760-04(Rev.04/11/07))


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