Making Connections: Expanding Our Web (MCEW) will expand the dissemination and the partnerships of the Making Connections program. The Making Connections (MC) partnership is a powerful and productive science education outreach group that offers the unique opportunity to leverage federal science education dollars for maximum impact. It involves the University of Washington Group Health Cooperative Pacific Science Center the Washington Association for Biomedical Research and more than 100 NIH-funded scientists and other professionals in reaching over 50000 students (12000 from groups underrepresented in science) and over 4000 teachers in Washington state. MC has developed three primary educational components that work synergistically to serve teachers students and the public. These components – the Brain Power van the Making Connections Celebrating the Decade of the Brain summer institute and the Bioscientists in the Community and Classroom outreach component – have been disseminated with great success throughout the state of Washington and in some other states. MCEW proposes to conduct a comprehensive and logistically supported dissemination effort (Phase II) with a focus on the states of Idaho and Montana. Making Connections: Expanding our Web will focus on extending dissemination through the following mechanisms: Brain Power will expand implementation to Idaho and Montana and partner with their science museums. The summer institute will support the participation of educators (including science museum educators) from outside the state of Washington and will hold in conjunction with Brain Power a training workshop for duplicating the Brain Power curriculum and assembly. The program will enhance its existing website to support educators as they duplicate the program’s products and models and to connect teachers/classrooms directly with NIH-funded scientists. A new interactive website “Animals and People Helping Ech Other” will extend the Bioscientist in the Classroom and Community component to a national audience. Internet browsers will be able to “tour” a research facility interview people who have benefited from animal research and confer with research scientists.
The Making Connections: Expanding Our Web partnership is a powerful and productive science education outreach group that expands the dissemination and partnerships established in the previous Making Connections Making Choices program. It consists of the University of Washington School of Nursing Pacific Science Center Group Health Cooperative and the Washington Association for Biomedical Research as well as more than 100 NIH funded scientists and other professionals. It has reached over 80000 students 35000 members of the general public and 6800 teachers in Washington Idaho and Montana. It has developed three primary educational components that work synergistically to serve teachers students and the public. These components – the Brain Power van the Making Connections Celebrating the Decade of the Brain summer institute and the Bioscientists in the Community and the Classroom outreach component – have been disseminated with great success. The Brain Power Van travels to middle schools with an interactive assembly exhibits (over 25) and curricula to teach about the brain. The summer institute brings science and health teachers as well as museum educators and school administrators to the University of Washington for two weeks each summer. Here they learn about cutting-edge research related to the brain adolescents and mental illness and other brain disorders and innovative curricula. The speakers’ bureau provides scientists to come into the classrooms and communities of those who request them to further enhance the public undertanding of the brain.