Discovery Learning Research Center

Past Research Projects

Howard Hughes Medical Institute entitled: zipTrips (Electronic Field Trips in Comparative Biology)

zipTrips The Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, Discovery Learning Research Center, Purdue Agriculture, ITAP, and faculty from the College of Education are collaborating with the Indiana higher Education Telecommunications System, and Indiana Public Broadcasting Services, to bring the scientific research community to middle school classrooms through the development of a series of Electronic Field Trips. These field trips will help middle school students: relate to science through intrinsically exciting and age-appropriate presentations of comparative biology issues, better understand the role and relevance of science in society and increase their potential to function as scientifically literate citizens, and learn about career opportunities in science and the academic preparation pathways to becoming a scientist. zipTrips has won many awards with it's most recent one from the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE). Purdue zipTrips: Disease Detectives won the Silver Award for the 2011 ACE Critique and Awards Program in the category of Electronic Media, Video: Class 30 programs. For more information contact Dr. J. Paul Robinson (jpr@flowcyto.purdue.edu).

NSF entitled Making Sense of Global Warming and Climate Change: Model of Student Learning via Collaborative Research

globe The investigation of environmental issues, such as climate change provides a natural context for studying science through personal and social applications. A review of existing high school science textbooks and laboratory manuals found few instructional materials that foster students’ conceptual understanding about climate and climate change. This project is informed by the general notion that the ways scientific knowledge develops that is the basic structure of scientific inquiry can help novice students’ learning in several ways. The team plans to construct models for students and teachers to improve classroom instruction of global warming and climate change topics. For more information contact Dr. Anita Roychoudhury (aroychou@purdue.edu).

NSF (GK-12) entitled The Indiana Interdisciplinary GK-12: Bringing Authentic Problem Solving in STEM to Rural Middle Schools

gk12 The Indiana Interdisciplinary GK-12 combines the interdisciplinary research focus of Purdue University with the rural and small town learning context of three Indiana school corporations. The project aims to improve middle school science education while dramatically enhancing STEM graduate students’ experience and understanding of learning and teaching. This project offers a unique one-year fellowship for doctoral students in the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to serve as "visiting scientists" in a program designed to instill the excitement of learning science into middle school classrooms. STEM fellows gain an insight into teaching and learning, as well as enhanced understanding and ability to communicate their own science. For more information contact Ms. Amy Childress (childres@purdue.edu) or Dr. Jonathan Harbor (jharbor@purdue.edu).

Taking Nanoscience to the Public

INmuseum Recent movies, books, and advertising campaigns have brought the term nanoscience to the public. However, few people understand the depth, breadth, potential, and risks associated with this new technology. The Discovery Learning Center, in partneriship with Purdue's College of Agriculture, spearheaded the development of a museum display focused on nanoscience. This 400 square foot display, highlighting research efforts at Purdue University, visited the Indiana State Museum and the Indiana Fair Grounds. The exhibit will travel to various other museums in Indiana, the Midwest, and elsewhere. For more information contact the Discovery Learning Research Center (learningcenter@purdue.edu).

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


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