Bio-Sphere: Fostering Deep Learning of Complex Biology for Building Our Next Generation's Scientists

Preparing future generations of scientists is crucial if the United States is to remain competitive in a technology-focused economy and capable of combating economic security threats and other global challenges.

Research teams from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Auburn University will join forces to develop an innovative learning environment, Bio-Sphere.

Bio-Sphere combines the strengths of hands-on design and engineering to foster learning of complex science issues, especially among underserved populations.

In early stages of our implementations, we will demonstrate the stability and feasibility of our innovation. Later work will bring this innovative design to life in very different classroom contexts and without the everyday support of the design team. We will enact each unit of the curriculum in one classroom within rural schools in Alabama and North Carolina, and will study the design decisions that teachers make and enact in order to implement the model.

The broader impact of this work: A large number of students, particularly in rural and underserved areas, will learn science with innovative materials that provide greater coherence and continuity. Sustained instruction will focus on important science ideas over long periods of time. Students will practice science as scientists.


Project Website


Completed on August 31, 2020