In August, 2009, The Instititute received word that the Phase II STTR project, Volumetric Imaging for Science Instruction of an Open Nature, has been funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development.
The goal of this Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) project is to adapt an advanced technology employed in biomedical research and practice—volumetric image processing and analysis (VIPA)—for science and mathematics education in formal secondary school settings. VIPA is used in biomedicine to display, model, and analyze volumetric data—typically imaging data that has been created by making two-dimensional digital “slices” of an object of interest—such as in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional MRI (fMRI), computed tomography (CT), and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). VIPA is also employed in non-biomedical disciplines where volumetric analyses are of interest, for instance, Earth science, engineering, hydrology, oceanography, and oil and gas exploration.
This project will create five e-Learning modules designed to supplement high school biology, Advanced Placement (AP) anatomy and physiology, and AP Biology instruction. The modules will be developed in an inquiry learning (IL) format in which students play the role of imaging scientists. Students will explore fascinating 3-D images; expand spatial thinking abilities by navigating 3-D data visualizations and changing the way the data is represented; master new quantification and technology skills by selecting and measuring features in microscopic and macroscopic specimens; enhance science process skills by working through all stages of a virtual research project; and learn standards-based science content.
The materials will be developed by the New Media Research Institute, in collaboration with Science Approach, LLC, the Biomedical Imaging Resource at the Mayo Clinic, ten experienced teachers, five researchers, a commercialization advisor from the Carolina Biological Supply Company, and the West Texas Office of Evaluation and Research. The VISION modules will be released as a online Moodle courses available for a nominal cost by subscription.