Collaborative Digital Bioscience Career Awareness Curriculum And Teacher Professional Development
Grant # 1614167
This program is funded by a Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program from the National Science Foundation
The scope of the ITEST program is to support the development and study of educational practices to broaden participation in STEM.
The goal of this project is to design a technology-rich high school curriculum that integrates bioscience career awareness and competency building to foster student interest and persistence in bioscience careers. To do this, Tufts scientists and Boston area teachers are co-designing interactive and collaborative web-based simulations that engage students in career-focused problem based learning (PBL) scenarios. During the simulation students role-play members of a drug discovery team, progressing though five key stages of the drug discovery process.
At each stage, the students are immersed in authentic scientific practices as they work as a team to design experiments, predict results and interpret data to make decisions about next steps. Some students will also interview bioscience professionals in the roles they assumed during the simulation and the video profiles will be embedded into the PBL scenarios to expose future participants to diverse role models in a wide range of careers relevant to the simulations. The final web platform will include all the needed resources and supports necessary for implementing teachers and a publishing toolkit to design new career-focused PBL activities.
These curriculum resources will provide an innovative and efficient tool for schools to build bioscience career awareness and competencies in a classroom, while contributing new knowledge towards our understating of how to design scalable, authentic research experiences to engage non-self-selecting students in STEM cognate careers.