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NanoBio Profile

The NanoBio Science Partnership for Alabama Black Belt Region


The NanoBio Science Partnership is led by Tuskegee University and includes partner universities (Auburn University, Alabama State University, Tuskegee University, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, and The University of Alabama); community colleges (Central Alabama Community College, Enterprise State Community College, Shelton State Community College, Wallace State Community College, Hanceville, and Wallace State Community College, Selma) and school districts (Barbour, Bullock, Dallas, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Montgomery, Perry and Selma). The partnership also includes supporting partners from the Alabama Math Science and Technology Initiative (AMSTI), the McWane Science Center, Cornell and Wisconsin Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers, the Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering (SECME), and local industry.

The NanoBio Science Partnership addresses critical needs in middle grade (6th-8th) science education in the Black Belt region, an area that has long been characterized as socioeconomically and educationally disadvantaged. The partnership provides professional development to 6th to 8th grade science teachers in order to shift their instruction from conventional teaching strategies to the use of an inquiry-centered approach in conjunction with the infusion of NanoBio science principles and 3-D simulations of concepts from their science curricula. Curriculum modules that support inquiry are being developed for use by the teachers and are tied to the middle grade science curricular objectives. The project also is recruiting and training prospective science teachers through the partnering universities' teacher preparation programs to provide them with an appropriately challenging and contemporary science curricula and teacher education foundation. Data on student and teacher performance are collected and analyzed through quantitative and qualitative methods. Ultimately, the project will directly impact approximately 80 teachers and 10,000 students over five years. The partnership seeks to make a lasting positive influence on education in the Black Belt region and its economy. Findings in connection with research questions being studied in the project and in regards to the overall project evaluation are being synthesized in order to be disseminated broadly.