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Informal Stem Cell Science Education Programs - 2014

RFA #: 1106031155

Developing Stem Cell Literacy: A Comprehensive Approach to Public Understanding

Program Director: Ruth Cohen
Co-Program Director: Rosamond Kinzler, Ph.D.
American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History (“Museum”) proposes a two-year project to build stem cell literacy among diverse adult audiences through a suite of on-site and online learning experiences. The overarching goal is to promote awareness and deepen understanding of the science of stem cell research, its current applications, future potential, and associated challenges, and to empower learners to make informed, thoughtful choices as consumers, parents, patients, and citizens. Developed by an interdisciplinary team of educators, scientists, and educational technologists in collaboration with Dr. Scott Noggle, a leading stem cell biologist, the project leverages the Museum’s experience delivering successful adult education programs and exhibitions on current issues, including health related topics and its partnership with Khan Academy, to provide online educational content. The program design provides multiple entry points to meet the needs of learners with varying levels of interest, learning styles, geographic locations, and time constraints. Its specific objectives are to:

  1. Design and deliver six weekend drop-in programs for 400–600 participants each weekend.
  2. Design and deliver a one-day on-site course for ~90 participants.
  3. Design and deliver a five-week onsite course for ~25 participants.
  4. Design and deliver a facilitated online course on the Museum’s Moodle platform for ~50 participants.
  5. Design and distribute via Khan Academy a set of digital learning modules that can be completed in a stand-alone experience, combined into a longer course, or incorporated into other learning environments.
  6. Ensure that all programs are meeting individual program goals and learning objectives.

Evaluation will be built into all programmatic offerings and will explore participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding stem cell biology, with emphasis on understanding the extent to which participants acquired new knowledge and gained confidence in communicating this knowledge to their peers.