The Genetic Science Learning Center (GSLC) at the University of Utah will utilize its award-winning expertise in developing effective multimedia learning experiences to produce two life science curriculum supplement modules. These materials will engage secondary-level students, teachers and the public in exploring the question "What goes on inside my body?" The modules will address: (a) the molecular physiology of how our body obtains, transforms, transports and uses the matter and energy required to sustain it, and (b) the neurobiology of what our body does with sensory input and the relationship of this input to attention, learning and memory. The modules will highlight the connections between these topics and related science concepts typically addressed in separate textbook units. They thus will assist students in building a deeper understanding of key ideas needed for science literacy in the 21st Century while engaging digital-age learners. The goals of the project are to: (1) Educate secondary-level students, teachers and the public about human physiology and neurobiology so that they can make informed choices for improved health and learning, and (2) Prepare teachers to use the Inside Your Body curriculum modules through professional development courses and workshops at the local, state, regional and national levels. The project will take full advantage of the GSLC team's synergistic expertise in science, education, multimedia visualization, technology, and evaluation, building on our 16 years of experience in producing highly successful online curriculum materials and teacher professional development programs. Production of the modules will use the GSLC's proven curriculum development process. This process incorporates a participatory design approach that includes secondary life science teachers, scientists, and our entire team. The modules will include (a) inquiry-based, user-focused, multimedia visualizations and interactive learning experiences, (b) user-driven multimedia presentations, (c) "Learn More" web pages, (d) non-technology-based learning experiences, (e) detailed learning experience guides for teachers, and (f) multimedia teacher professional development materials. The curriculum modules will be piloted tested in classrooms with diverse students, garnering feedback for refinement. Small-scale randomized controlled trials will compare the efficacy of the modules to standard curriculum materials. A professional development summer institute and conference workshops will prepare approximately 500 teachers from across the US to use the materials with their students and train 30 teachers in presenting dissemination workshops for colleagues in their district or state. The curriculum modules will be freely disseminated worldwide via the GSLC's award-winning Learn. Genetics and Teach.Genetics websites. Based on current usage, the modules have the potential to improve biology education for millions of students, over a million teachers and over a million other adults each year.
The Inside Your Body project will educate secondary students, teachers and other adults about the processes that take place inside their body. It will particularly focus on what happens to the food they eat, how their body responds to sensory inputs, and factors affecting attention, learning and memory. The ultimate goal is to educate people so that that they can make better choices for improved health.