The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is hoping to improve science education in the U.S. through its new Science Education Alliance, a national network of scientists and educators.
The goal of the Institute’s project is to spur interest in science among college students by offering an alternative to large introductory science classes.
The new model would develop a national laboratory-based research course for these undergraduates, teaching them to think like scientists as they make their own discoveries.
The pilot course for the Alliance focuses on genomics and is being piloted at the University of Pittsburgh, where undergraduates are working with scientists to characterize previously unknown viruses that infect bacteria.
The project aims to have 36 schools on board to teach the piloted course by 2011.