Discovery Learning Research Center

Current Research Projects

NSF entitled: A Sustainable Energy Concepts Professional Development Model for Rural Schools & Its Extension to a Systemic Approach for Integrating STEM Research & Education


Research Goes to School is transforming K-12 education by integrating advanced research topics into high school STEM curricula. The goals of the project are to develop a model for delivering the conversion of biomass to biofuels research topics into high school STEM classrooms, and establish a systemic approach for integrating research and education activities. For more information contact Lisa Kirkham (

NSF entitled Science Learning through Engineering Design (SLED) Targeted Partnership

children Purdue University and four Indiana school districts will collaborate to improve science learning in third through sixth grades. The work will focus on the use of engineering design-based teaching. The concept teaches problem solving in math and science through design projects. Partnering in the effort are Purdue's colleges of Education, Engineering, Science, and Technology; the Discovery Learning Research Center; regional industries; and the Lafayette, Tippecanoe, Taylor Community and Plymouth school corporations. For more information contact Dr. Alyssa Panitch ( or Dr. Brenda Capobianco (


children exercisingThe TECHFIT project demonstrates the impact information technology has on our world by inspiring the next generation of innovators to design and implement technology-based fitness games that will get people moving and having fun while simultaneously and positively improving their health. The goal of TECHFIT is to combine the importance of technology and fitness into an experience that should energize teachers, engage students, and excite communities through innovation designed to address possible solutions for getting people active while having fun and learning the value of STEM subjects. For more information contact Alka Harriger or Brad Harriger

NIH entitled: Fat Dogs and Coughing Horses: Animal Contributions towards a Healthier Citizenry

child in lab gear

The long term objective of this cooperative effort among Purdue University, public schools in Indiana, and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, is to develop, evaluate and disseminate educational programs for K-12 students, parents, teachers, and the public about the science involved in making people healthy. Concepts will be exemplified by emphasizing health issues that affect both people and animals in Indiana and the U.S., including obesity prevention, cancer prevention, and asthma. This SEPA will take a systems approach in which fitness programs, research programs using animal models, K-12 outreach programs, professional development workshops for teachers, and recruiting efforts will be networked to form an innovative educational model that fills current gaps in health science education, excites and recruits schoolchildren to careers in health science research, and leads to a healthier citizenry. For more information contact Dr. Timothy Ratliff (

For information on our past projects, click here.


Discovery Learning Research Center
207 South Martin Jischke Drive, Suite 203
West Lafayette , IN 47907-1791

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