Baylor College of Medicine has been selected as one of eight institutions across the nation to develop innovative neuroscience education programs for students and their teachers through a grant awarded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The programs aim to increase science literacy and understanding, and to promote interest in science. BCM's project, led by the Center for Educational Outreach, will develop, evaluate and disseminate new science and health teaching resources for elementary school audiences, with a focus on emerging areas in neuroscience. The project will focus on grades K-5 and will be evaluated in Houston-area elementary schools. It has the potential to reach 1.7 million teachers and more than 19 million students through dissemination on BCM's websites for educators, BioEd Online and K8 Science.
Lessons will focus on brain function, the impacts of drugs and environmental toxins on the brain and neurodevelopment and aging.
"Young students are excited to learn how their brains work. We intend to capitalize on this enthusiasm to develop students' science knowledge, life skills and interest in science careers," said project Dr. Nancy Moreno, principal investigator.
The grant of $1.35 million will run through 2016. Personnel representing the Center for Collaborative and Interactive Technologies, Department of Neuroscience, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and the Huffington Center on Aging – all at BCM – will collaborate on the project. Dr. David Eagleman, assistant professor of neuroscience, will serve as co-principal investigator.
The grant is 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.