NeuroLab 2.0: An Alternative Storyline Design Approach for Translating a Research-Based Summer Experience into an Advanced STEM+M Curriculum Unit that Supports Three-Dimensional Teaching and Learning in the Classroom

Published:2024, Journal of STEM Outreach
Vol. 7, Issue 1, March 2024
Authors:Santschi, L., Bass, K., Imondi, R.

NeuroLab, Student Collaboration, Storylines, Scientific Modeling, Science Practices, NGSS, STEM+M, STEMM, High School Students, Precollege
Students, Developmental Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience, Neurology, Big Data, Data Literacy, Researcher-Educator Collaboration, Interdisciplinary, Mirror Movement Disorder

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In this case study, we describe an alternative storyline design approach that we adopted to translate an informal, out-of-school summer science experience with a strong emphasis on developmental neuroscience and data literacy into a more inclusive, replicable, and scalable experience for formal high school science instruction. Combining elements of problem- and project-based learning, a storyline is a curriculum model that engages students in the application of investigative science and engineering practices to incrementally build conceptual models that explain an observable (anchoring) phenomenon. Published reports on the storyline design process describe procedures and tools that are well suited to the creation of novel instructional units. However, these design methods are difficult to apply to projects aimed at translating pre-existing science experiences and resources into classroom storyline units. In this descriptive case study, we discuss a series of alternative design procedures that we utilized to achieve this adaptation. Our overarching project goal was to create the resources necessary to engage high school students in the construction of a multidimensional explanatory model for an unusual movement disorder that assimilates converging lines of behavioral, neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, molecular genetic, developmental, and cellular data. The methods described in this case study establish a design template for other biomedical scientists who are interested in adopting a storyline approach to bring aspects of their work or educational projects
into science classrooms and into closer alignment with a new vision for science teaching and learning articulated in the National Research Council’s “A Framework for K-12 Science Education” and the Next Generation Science Standards.