October 18, 2017

WPI lands $1.2M high school curriculum grant

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Thanks to a grant, WPI will help develop high school biology and computer science curriculum.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute has received a three-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to help integrate biology and computer science tools in high school classrooms.

The grant from the NSF's STEM and Computing program is intended to develop curriculum to engage students and teachers in collecting biological data and using computational tools to analyze that data, WPI said in a press release Wednesday.

The curriculum is aimed at studying and solving real-world problems, like bumblebee decline and loss of biodiversity.

Elizabeth Ryder, associate professor of biology and biotechnology, is the principal investigator of the research team including biology, computer science and education experts along with WPI students.

The team will work with four teachers from Nipmuc Regional High School in Upton and Worcester Technical High School to develop modular software and curriculum for use in a wide range of classrooms, including biology and advanced computer science.

After piloting the curriculum, those teachers will train others at a summer institute at WPI.

"We envision other university–high school partnerships across the country utilizing our work as a blueprint to develop curriculum that integrates STEM and computer science approaches around real-world problems of all kinds," Ryder said in the release.

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