Arizona Science Center's (ASC) Framing New Pathways to Medical Discovery project (NIH-SEPA Phase I/II) will introduce students aged 8-14 years, their teachers, families, underserved students (low income, Hispanic, Native American) and the general public to three biomedical research areas inspired by NIH's Roadmap for Medical Research: biological pathways, bioinformatics, and nanomedicine. These groundbreaking developments are unfamiliar to many adults and are not introduced in science curriculum. Using the metaphor of a hardware store (i.e., building materials, tools, parts, home repair projects), the project will introduce families, students, and teachers to three "big" ideas: (1) the body maintains and repairs itself at the molecular, cell, tissue, organ, and system levels (2) biomedical research scientists are uncovering new complexities at the molecular level that can increase our understanding how the body works;and (3) developments in "nanomedicine" can lead to new discoveries and treatments. In a hardware store theater and workshop space and in a virtual hardware store, ASC will develop and present demonstrations, basic and intermediate level labs (for 2nd and 6th grade students or families);train museum staff and interns to present the programs;offer orientation workshops to teachers from Title I schools;develop a teacher's guide;conduct outreach in middle schools engage scientists to talk about their work and help them communicate with the public;and create a manual of materials and activities for other science centers. The evaluation plan will include formative research on activities and assessment of how well repair metaphors facilitate understanding of clinical issues. A Design Team of scientists, museum staff, science teachers, biology and medical students will guide the development of education components.
Arizona Science Center Principal Investigator: Martin, L. Framing New Pathways to Medical Discovery for Families, Students, and Teachers Project Narrative: The Project Narrative is provided in the PHS 398 Research Plan.